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UA stresses safety as new semester begins

Posted at 8:34 PM, Aug 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 23:49:26-04

Wednesday morning cars parked one-by-one at the curb near Coronado Residence Hall on UA’s campus.

Current residence hall staff, mostly students themselves, helped new students and their parents load their things into big carts and haul them upstairs, each one’s wheels rumbling on the hot sidewalk. 

Soon that rumble will become a roar as more than 6,000 students move into on-campus housing this weekend.

The school is welcoming roughly 10,000 new freshmen and transfer students this semester. 

Classes start Monday, but school staff is making sure conversations about staying safe on and off campus start sooner.

UAPD Sgt. Filbert Barrera says the department is encouraging students to have conversations with each other and ask questions about sexual assault.

Mary Helen Steindler who arrived on campus Wednesday from Chicago to drop off her daughter Maya, says she’s already having those talks with her children, “Make sure you know where your drink is at all times. Make sure you know what's in whatever somebody else gives you.”

Steindler says she has also stressed the importance of not walking alone through unfamiliar areas and not leaving friends alone, a warning her daughter will receive from campus staff as well. 

UAPD is stepping up its presence and patrols around residence halls this weekend.

Sgt. Barrera says the department wants to make sure students belongings aren’t stolen as they move in.

“Most of our property crime issues come from unattended items. That's why we're here. All of our officers spending a lot of time at residence halls while people are moving in to provide that deterrent.”