(Sent to the PLU Community 9/21/2021)

Dear PLU community:

As we embrace fall and celebrate our return to campus, Campus Safety would like to extend a warm welcome to all new and returning students, faculty, and staff. Campus Safety is dedicated to making your transition or return to campus as pleasant and safe as possible.

We are proud to be a part of this community and neighborhood where members actively care for one another’s well being and where safety is understood to be foundational to our presence with one another.  Our shared commitment to safety continues to take many forms, including practicing personal responsibility and engaging partnerships that look out for our community as a whole.

Although our campus has security measures and services in place to promote and sustain a safe environment, I’d like to share a number of reminders and tips for us all to consider in the dynamics of our current context.

Vehicle Safety

  • The theft of catalytic converters and vehicle thefts remains a concern up and down the I-5 corridor, including PLU because of our proximity to the freeway.

  • We recommend parking in campus parking lots, as opposed to on the street. The parking lots won’t guarantee vehicle safety, but their extra lighting and camera coverage are helpful deterrents.

  • If you store your car on campus, be sure to move it occasionally and also check it periodically for damage and theft. Thieves often target vehicles that they notice are left unattended for extended periods of time.

  • Don’t leave valuables or items visible in your vehicle, and be sure to always lock your vehicle.

  • Consider seeking advice from an automobile specialist on preventable measures you may install or take to prevent these types of thefts.

  • Registration is required for parking in the PLU parking lots. PLU parking lots are monitored by video surveillance and the registration decal enables us to contact you in the event there is a concern related to your vehicle. You can register for your parking decal here: http://www.plu.edu/campus-safety/parking/home.php.

We all can make a difference!

  • Be an active bystander in all forms of community, individual and property safety.

  • Campus Safety encourages community members to report suspicious activity to our office right away. Please be sure to make note of the individual’s specific actions. Responding to  an individual’s behavior vs. acting on their appearance or what we think ‘might’ happen helps to ensure that community members do not engage in racial, religious, gender identity or other bias-based profiling.

  • To report an emergency of any type while off-campus, please call 911.  For life threatening on-campus emergencies, call 911, and then follow that with a call to Campus Safety’s emergency line at ext.7911 (on campus phone) or 253-535-7911 from your cell phone. We will facilitate the response from emergency services.

  • Be aware of your surroundings, and have safety in mind as you plan your activities. Consider traveling in groups or walking with a friend. In social situations, arrive with friends and keep an eye out for one another. Leave together and make sure everyone gets home safely.  Campus Safety offers walking escorts on campus 24/7, all year long.

  • In residence halls, don’t allow “tailgaters” you do not know or prop open outside doors, and close propped doors if you find them.  Residential rooms should always be kept locked, even when they are occupied.

  • In the AUC, library or other campus buildings, keep an eye on your belongings and do not leave laptops or other items unattended even for a few seconds.


In the event of an emergency, Campus Safety will send a text message, email and phone call to all student and staff cell phones with information on the current campus-related incident. Cell phone information is automatically pulled from student registration information, so be sure that your cell phone information is correct. There are also external speakers on several buildings that are used to communicate these alerts.

  • Stay in Place is activated when an incident near campus creates the potential for a risk to  campus. This measure involves all campus buildings going into card swipe access only.

  • Lock Down is activated when a violent incident is occurring on or immediately adjacent to campus. All buildings are locked and people are asked to secure themselves in a room inside a building and remain quiet.

  • Community Alert is the most common of the PLU ALERT messages. They communicate about active incidents that do not immediately pose a risk to the campus itself or provide information for on-going problems or crime trends. These messages are sent via email and text only and keep students, staff and faculty aware of nearby incidents so they can make choices to keep  themselves safe.

For updates, during or after an Alert, check the PLU Alerts webpage on the Campus Safety website.

The Campus Safety Office is open 24 hours a day, all year long! I encourage you to reach out to Campus Safety if you have any questions or concerns. Our office is located in the basement of Harstad Hall on the North side.

  • For general assistance, you can reach us at (253) 535-7441.

  • For emergencies you can reach us at (253) 535-7911.

Have a great, safe fall semester.

Tara Simmelink

Director of Campus Safety