Humboldt State University

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As ‘Eyes and Ears,’ Students Lend a Hand - Humboldt State Now

As ‘Eyes and Ears,’ Students Lend a Hand

Donning bright green jackets and police radios, a group of HSU students reported for a new duty this week, helping the campus community stay safe. They’re part of the University Police Department’s safety escort program and are available to accompany students, staff, and faculty from one campus location to another at night.

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The UPD’s Safety Escort Program now includes students who are available to accompany students, staff, and faculty from one campus location to another.

Donning bright green jackets and police radios, a group of HSU students reported for a new duty this week, helping the campus community stay safe.

They’re part of the University Police Department’s safety escort program and are available to accompany students, staff, and faculty from one campus location to another at night. The service is free and available from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., Monday-Friday, during the regular semester.

To request a safety escort, call 826-5555 or just dial x5555 from a campus blue light courtesy phone.

The new program was created with funding through CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025, which aims to increase graduation rates and close the achievement gap. Under the initiative, the CSU has identified financial support and student wellbeing as playing important roles in student success. The UPD program helps achieve those goals.

Student safety escorts are paid part-time positions. Students are trained to use police radios and to conduct safety escorts and patrols. Under the supervision of the sergeant on duty, students patrol the exterior of residence halls and other campus buildings to make sure doors are locked and to check for unauthorized personnel.

Students work in pairs and are in constant communication with dispatchers, letting them know where they’re going and what they’re observing. They’re trained to avoid potentially dangerous situations and, if necessary, can report an incident to dispatch, which will send an officer to the location immediately.

HSU’s Clery Coordinator Karyn Hoppe, who oversees the student program, says students are a welcome addition to the team. “The more eyes and ears we have out there the more UPD officers can respond to.”

Having students address non-emergency situations—such as open doors or checking campus blue light emergency stations—frees up resources for UPD. While UPD officers are always available to provide assistance, HSU students may feel more at ease with peer safety escorts and more motivated to use the service.

“Students may not call UPD for a safety escort, even if they feel unsafe,” says Chief Donn Peterson. “There’s an opportunity to create an environment that might be more accessible to students.”
Peterson also sees the program as a way to build bridges between the police and the wider campus community.

“By working together, students and police can understand each other a bit better,” he says.

The Student Safety Escort Program joins other campus and community safety efforts including UPD’s Adopt-a-Res-Hall Program, women’s self-defense training (offered several times a year), active shooter training, and community outreach through the Equity Arcata initiative.

Students interested in joining UPD’s Student Safety Escort team can contact Karyn Hoppe at karyn.hoppe@humboldt.edu.

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UPD’s Campus Safety Tips

When You Walk: When walking alone at night, be aware of your surroundings. Make use of UPD’s safety escort service. Do not take shortcuts. Travel well-lit, busy routes. If followed, change directions, and head for lights and people. Trust your instincts—run and/or scream if necessary. Escape a dangerous situation at the first opportunity.

Lock Your Doors: This is the single best crime deterrent in a residence hall, office, or other residence.

Keep Your Keys: Do not loan keys to anyone. Do not put your address on key rings. Keep keys immediately ready in hand when arriving at a car or residence. If your key is lost or stolen, notify University Police or issuing agent immediately.

When You Drive: Do not pick up hitchhikers. Keep doors locked and be alert at traffic stops. Do not lower windows for strangers.

More tips from UPD.