By Stacy Galanis
Photo by Stacy Galanis
As previous emails sent out by Aurora University’s Department of Campus Public Safety have stated, there have been a few safety scares that have occurred on the AU campus.
Though these incidents have threatened the safety of a few AU students and should be taken seriously, students should feel more at ease with the knowledge that the Department of Campus Public Safety is there to help if ever their safety is threatened.
“The Department of Campus Public Safety is comprised of sworn police officers and non-sworn officers,” Michael Gohlke, Director of Aurora University’s Campus Public Safety, said. “The Department of Campus Public Safety exists to provide quality service resulting from the expectations of our community and our own dedication to excellence. We attempt to deter criminal activity and promote a safe campus community.”
According to Gohlke, a few incidents have been reported that are important for AU students and staff to know about.
“A brief summary of the incidents include an armed robbery and a student who had been confronted by an unknown male when she was jogging,” Gohlke said. “Both incidents were handled by the Department of Campus Public Safety and the Aurora Police Department. The offenders in the armed robbery were apprehended by the Aurora Police Department.”
When asked her thoughts on the recent safety scares, student Melissa Engelhardt said that she feels safe on campus. “It’s always unfortunate that people try to harm other people but it doesn’t make me feel unsafe on campus,” Engelhardt said. “There’s danger anywhere you go. You have be aware of your surroundings.” Student Bobby Procopos said that he still feels safe but also said that if he did live on campus, he would begin to be more cautious when walking around at night or the outskirts of the campus.
The Department of Campus Public Safety’s goal is to ensure campus safety and ensure that all AU members feel safe. To maintain this goal, the department provides many services for students and staff to use.
“We offer an escort service that is available to all members of the university 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We patrol the campus and surrounding areas on foot, bike, and in a marked squad car. We are available any time of day or night to assist with any incident that occurs. All members of the department are certified first responders and have received specialized training to handle a variety of medical emergencies,” Gohlke said.
Though these services are always available to all members of the AU community, students and staff can do many simple things to ensure their own safety as well.
“Students, faculty, and staff should always be aware of their surroundings and travel in groups whenever possible,” Gohlke said. “All members of the AU community should have their keys in hand when walking to their vehicle and have the Campus Public Safety phone number programmed into their cellular phone. We remind the campus community “if you see something, say something.” Student Sam Borowski said that students should report suspicious behavior and Engelhardt advises that students not walk alone late at night and always inform others of where you are headed.
“Students should walk with their friends and try to stay in heavily populated areas,” Procopos shared. “At night, people should definitely walk in groups and park their cars as close to the building they are in as possible.”
Gohlke also said that if a student felt that their safety is jeopardized they should immediately contact the Department of Campus of Public Safety.
“If the situation warrants we also advise that you contact the Aurora Police Department (we will also make notification for assistance when needed.) If you are approached by someone you do not know and believe that the person/or people may be there to harm you, you should get to a safe, well lit and populated area if possible,” Gohlke further said.
Once again, it is encouraged that students and staff take these safety scares seriously and always contact the Aurora University Department of Campus Public Safety when they feel that their safety is threatened.
“Personal safety starts with each and every one of us,” Gohlke said. “You can serve as a deterrent to most incidents by utilizing good safety precautions.”
More information regarding the Department of Campus Public Safety as well as helpful tips and phone numbers can be found at