Thursday, October 21, 2021

The University of Iowa is making progress on campus safety and mental health initiatives after recommendations from the Reimagining Campus Safety Action Committee (RCSAC).

After a year-long development process, UI President Barb Wilson reviewed the committee’s report and charged a campus safety implementation team with taking action on the recommendations.

The Division of Student Life (DSL) recently created the following resources:

  • 24/7 UI Support and Crisis Line: The UI now offers 24/7 mental health support to students through a new partnership with CommUnity Crisis Services. The UI Support and Crisis Line is accessible to students on and off campus and can be accessed via phone or text message (at 844-461-5420), or via online chat at
  • Student care coordinators: DSL soon will hire two student care coordinators to provide follow-up services for students who have had law enforcement contact, crisis intervention, or hospitalization. The UI Department of Public Safety has partnered with DSL to fund and support these positions, which will be embedded in Student Care and Assistance. The care coordinators will provide oversight and response to mental health concerns and manage follow-up care for students seeking additional support, including students who utilize the UI Support and Crisis Line, GuideLink Center, the Crisis Stabilization Unit at UI Hospitals & Clinics, or CommUnity Crisis Services..
  • Basic needs coordinator: DSL recently created a position to support student basic needs, including helping raise awareness, create partnership, and increase access and support for the food pantry, Clothing Closet, and other campus and community resources.

The RCSAC implementation team will continue to make progress on the following recommendations:

  • Providing non-law enforcement response options for mental health, basic needs, crisis intervention, and follow-up.
  • Investing in holistic safety services, including mental health, case management, well-being, and basic needs.
  • Creating a Presidential Campus Safety and Accountability Board that includes marginalized campus members and representatives of shared governance, as well as the broader UI community. The group will solicit ongoing feedback, identify metrics and measures of success, communicate concerns and recommendations, and be transparent in sharing information with the UI community.

The implementation team also will develop metrics to report the progress being made on the recommendations and will outline how it will evaluate and continually improve policies, practices, and safety on campus, including developing and piloting sustainable models of listening to the campus community throughout the implementation process that center on Black, Indigenous, and People with Color (BIPOC), people with disabilities, women, low-income individuals and families, and LGBTQ+ community members.

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