Final phase of UTPD’s Be Safe campaign asks for original artwork from students, faculty

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The UT Police Department is asking students to submit artistic representations of what it means to be safe on campus as part of the fourth and final phase of its Be Safe campaign.

All UT students, faculty and staff are eligible to submit a wide variety of original works — from poetry and posters to short films and dance clips — that represent Be Safe’s ideals. All submissions that meet the campaign’s criteria will be used by UTPD and the University in different ways around campus, including on social media, windows and banners in campus buildings, and eventually the jumbotron in the Darrell K. Royal Stadium, UTPD spokeswoman Cindy Posey said.

“We want students to get as creative as they possibly can to demonstrate these concepts,” Posey said. “Tell us how you are being safe and what do you do when you are being safe.”

Be Safe originally began in 2015 as an effort to promote safety dialogues on campus. UTPD and its campus partners, including Student Government and the UT Division of Student Affairs, began a more aggressive campaign last fall after the death of dance freshman Haruka Weiser last April.

“The spirit behind the Be Safe campaign stemmed from tragic and unfortunate homicide that we experienced last spring on this campus, and following it, UTPD, SG and other stakeholders got together to see how we could weave this idea of campus safety into the fabric of the University,” said student body President Kevin Helgren, a psychology and neuroscience senior.

The first phase of the campaign introduced three safety practices — “Walk With Me,” “Be Aware of Your Surroundings” and “Call 911.” The second and third phases introduced visuals around campus depicting these practices as well as dialogue between students demonstrating safe practices.

The visuals in phases two and three were intentionally simplistic in order to prepare for this final phase of the campaign, Posey said.

Business sophomore Shivani Patel said she thinks the campaign has helped students become more aware of how to be safe on campus.

“I feel like (the death of Weiser) just made people more aware of how unsafe campus could be,” Patel said. “But I’ve definitely become more aware of my surroundings. Now everywhere I go, I walk together instead of alone.”

There is no deadline for submissions, and UTPD plans to accept original works year round, Posey said. A full list of submission requirements and guidelines can be found on the Be Safe website.