July 12, 2024

Message about Community Safety and Responsibilities

The following message is from the Office of Student Affairs:

Dear UMW Community:

I hope the new academic semester has been fruitful and engaging for you so far. I hope, too, that new students are finding the University of Mary Washington to be a welcoming and accepting home away from home. Unfortunately, for some students this has not been the experience. Yesterday morning a bias incident occurred in Randolph Hall. This event involved highly inflammatory, ethically-charged graffiti being tagged on two roommates’ door.

Incidents such as these undermine the sense of belonging that all UMW community members deserve. The University of Mary Washington values diversity and is committed to ensuring a safe and welcoming educational environment for all members of our community. Moreover, UMW believes that every community member has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Biased behavior is not in keeping with these values and beliefs and is an affront to our Community Values.

The University takes seriously any incident of biased behavior and fully investigates reports of such behavior. If you have any information regarding biased behavior or incidents, please notify the University Police. Dial 4444 or 7777 from any campus phone; from a non-campus phone, including cell phones, dial 540-654-4444. You may also send an anonymous report here. Or, as always, you may report information about student concerns to the Office of Student Life .

The University now offers a mobile safety app known as RAVE Guardian.  The safety app can be downloaded to smartphones free of charge by anyone in the UMW network. Once activated, the app provides the user one-touch connection to UMW Police or 911, displays the user’s GPS location, and enables a text or digital image to be sent. The user also can set a safety timer to share with a selected group of friends or family members within his or her virtual safety network. The timer will alert friends, family, or emergency officials if the clock expires before the student has reached his or her destination.

When you witness bias or any kind of threatening behavior, please let the University Police and the Office of Student Life know. Be an active participant in a safe learning community; be an active bystander. “It’s On [each of] US to Step Up, Say Something, and Be an Active Bystander.”

Thank you for your commitment to making UMW the best learning community possible.


Juliette Landphair, Ph.D. Vice President for Student Affairs