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As Semester Begins, Washington U. Officials Discuss Crime

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Women take advantage of the 68 degree temperatures to sun themselves on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis on February 23, 2012.   UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Women take advantage of the 68 degree temperatures to sun themselves on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis on February 23, 2012. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Tuesday is the first day of classes at Washington University and school officials say safety is their top priority.

Associate Vice Chancellor Steve Givens says that the university is safe and there have not been violent crimes on campus. But the surrounding areas are a different situation.

“Students live in those neighborhoods, they walk to and from The Loop or [Forest] Park, so one of the things that we do for all of our new students, especially, coming in as part of their orientation program, we talk to them about what it’s like to live on our campus and in the neighborhoods around our campus,” Givens explains.

The orientation includes a discussion by campus police and a video which tells students how to keep themselves safe on and off campus.

“We certainly want them to be aware, to raise their awareness, so they can be prepared when they go to walk in the neighborhood,” Givens adds. “I think the worst thing we could do is tell them everything is OK and don’t worry about it.”

Givens says students are taught to not walk alone, especially at night, and if they are robbed to give the assailants what they want.

“A cell phone or a laptop or a backpack are certainly not worth the possibility of getting hurt,” he says.

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