Making UM a Safe Learning and Living Community

A Message from President Royce Engstrom

UM President Royce Engstrom

Here at the University of Montana, we view safety as an essential and ongoing priority for our learning environment. Efforts focus on education and prevention, clear policies, reporting, collaboration across the campus and across the Missoula community, and student and employee involvement.

We are a campus that cultivates safety. We are a family, and we are here to help each other learn, lead full lives and thrive.

Training and Initiatives

PETSA, UM’s mandatory online tutorial that deals frankly with sexual assault and rape, was launched in 2012. All new students, including transfer students, must take the PETSA tutorial and quiz before they can register for their next semester of classes. PETSA stands for Personal Empowerment Through Self Awareness. More than 20,000 students have completed PETSA.

UM offers training to students on issues dealing with sexual assault prevention and bystander intervention. In the 2015-16 school year, UM offering multiple training opportunities on bystander intervention. Learn more about the trainings here.

UM participates in Missoula's “Make Your Move to End Sexual Violence” campaign, a collaborative community effort to create positive change and change the beliefs and behaviors that perpetuate sexual violence. The campaign includes online and print advertisements, free training for bar staff and patrons, and community participation to prompt discussions about sexual violence. "Make Your Move" posters appear in bathrooms around Missoula and at UM in Washington-Grizzly Stadium, the Adams Center, all residence hall bathrooms and in classroom building bathrooms. The "Make Your Move" model has been replicated by the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University of South Alabama; the Edmonton, Alberta, Police Department; the Maine Community College System; and others. 

In 2013 the UM Police Department created the position of a Community Liaison Officer. The CLO works directly in the residence halls and serves as an important link between the University, its students and the Missoula community. It is a rotating position with each CLO serving a term of one semester. The officer works primarily in the residence halls to assist Residence Life staff, coordinate activities and presentations with the Campus Assault Prevention Coordinator, assist in responding to crimes in progress and ongoing investigations, and conduct follow-up on Clery and Title IX reportable cases.

AlcoholEdu was implemented across the Montana University System in fall 2014. This online series is mandatory for all new students and contains prevention and risk reduction tips for safe alcohol consumption as it relates to increased risk for sexual assault perpetration and victimization.

On May 9, 2013, UM and the U.S. Department of Justice entered into an agreement regarding the UM Police Department's response to sexual assault. The DOJ acknowledged that the University took proactive steps to demonstrate a commitment to improving its response to reports of sexual assault. The parties agreed that UMPD would continue to implement improved policies, provide increased training and modify practices in order to further improve its response to sexual assault. In July 2015 the DOJ announced that the UM Police Department had shown full and sustained compliance in improving their response to reports of sexual assault. Read the Final Report of Sustained Compliance and with supporting documentation found in the corresponding Matrix. The Executive Summary is a review of UMPD's efforts and accomplishments.

In 2012, UM teamed up with the City of Missoula to publicize resources for help with sexual violence through the It's Your Call Missoula campaign. Pamphlets, which were updated in spring 2015, are distributed across campus and around town, and the It's Your Call Missoula website offers sexual violence resources.

The Student Conduct Code was revised in August 2013. The Student Conduct Code embodies and promotes honesty, integrity, accountability, rights and responsibilities associated with constructive citizenship in our academic community at UM. The code describes expected standards of behavior for all students, including academic conduct and general conduct, and it outlines students’ rights, responsibilities and the campus processes for adjudicating alleged violations. The Dean of Students initiated the 2013 revision of the Student Conduct Code to provide clarity, reduce confusing legalistic language and an give an accurate reflection of current campus practices. 

As of fall 2014, important contact information is printed on the back of all Griz Cards (student IDs). The cards list numbers for the Student Advocacy Resource Center (SARC), the Dean of Students, UM Police, the Title IX Coordinator and Missoula 9-1-1 services.

Employee training includes the online Discrimination Prevention Tutorial for all faculty and staff. It is required for all employees. The tutorial was launched in fall 2013.

UM students and employees can sign up to receive emergency text message alerts, which are used to relay important safety information during campus emergencies. Sign up for alerts at http://www.umt.edu/safety/notification/default.php

The UM Police Department has developed and implemented an on-going annual in-service training for all UMPD officers, detectives and recruits covering topics ranging from sexual assault investigations to learning more effective and caring ways to assist and interview victims of trauma.

UM holds a monthly Case Review Process to help key UM partners coordinate our response to reports of sexual violence. Monthly sessions include the UM Police, Residence Life, Dean of Students, Title IX Coordinator, Campus Assault Prevention Coordinator and SARC.

A partnership between SARC, Advocates for Non-Violence and residence life created the Bystander Revolution program. In spring 2015, peer educators gave presentations to students in all of the residence halls; and UM's fraternities and sororities. The goal is to develop and promote awareness about the problem of sexual violence and to empower students to look out for one another.

SARC continues the “Don’t Cancel that Class” program, which allows faculty and teaching assistants to have a guest speaker instead of canceling class for the day. Topics include: First Response to Relationship Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Prevention; Healthy Relationships; and Self-Care.

Thirty-three UM mentors were trained under the University of New Hampshire model of “Bringing in the Bystander,” a prevention education model recommended by the White House Task Force. 

Residence Life provides all staff members with annual training on topics related to sexual violence, mandatory reporting, domestic violence and bystander intervention.

In 2015, the UM Police Department launched a new program called Area Officers where officers are assigned to residence halls to attend floor meetings, present programming in the halls and join students for dinner in the Food Zoo.  

UM is a member of Missoula's Multidisciplinary Task Force, whose purpose is to maintain a unified approach to sexual assault in Missoula County. The task force includes UM personnel, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, medical and health care providers, social services professionals and victim advocates who work together to coordinate victim services.

The fourth annual "Not in Our State" Sexual Assault Statewide Summit will be held Nov. 8-10, 2015, in the University Center at UM. The summit will begin with an evening theater performance and will follow with two days of workshops and presentations for professionals, leaders and students from around the state. Previous summits were held in Bozeman and Billings.

On April 23, 2015, UM President Royce Engstrom and Missoula Mayor John Engen discussed the progress made in responding to reports of sexual assault in an opinion column titled "Efforts to Combat Sexual Assault Make Up Next Chapter."

Expanded Resources

Report all emergencies to the Missoula Police Department by calling 9-1-1. UM Police can be reached 24 hours a day. For emergencies, call 406-243-4000. For nonemergencies call 406-243-6131. A complete listing of UM emergency phone numbers is available here.

GrizWalk: This free, student-staffed safety service is available at night while school is in session. A GrizWalk member will walk students to their destination. Call 406-243-2777 to request GrizWalk.

First STEP Resource Center at Providence St. Patrick Hospital offers specially trained nurses and nurse practitioners who will meet victims at a private, safe clinic. First STEP offers a comprehensive medical assessment, evidence collection, lab tests and medication.

UM's Student Advocacy Resource Center (SARC) provides free and confidential peer counseling and crisis intervention to student survivors of sexual and relationship violence, as well as support and information for family and friends. Services are available to survivors at all stages of recovery, from initial crisis intervention to healing, through support groups and peer counseling. SARC is located at UM's Curry Health Center. SARC's 24-hour hotline is 406-243-6559. 

Jessica Weltman, Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, is the University's Title IX Coordinator. She coordinates the University's response to complaints of sex-based discrimination, including sexual harassment, stalking, sexual assault, relationship violence, and other forms of sexual misconduct, as well as retaliation.

BIT, the Behavioral Intervention Team, is a campuswide team responsible for identifying, assessing and responding to serious concerns and/or disruptive behaviors by students who may threaten the health or safety of campus. You can refer a student in crisis to BIT to ensure the student gets necessary assessment and help.

YWCA Missoula’s Pathways program offers safe shelter, crisis counseling and support for survivors of domestic or dating violence, sexual violence and stalking. It provides free and confidential emergency shelter, walk-in peer counseling, support groups and legal, personal and medical advocacy. Reach their 24-hour crisis line by calling 406-542-1944 or 1-800-483-7858.

The main UM campus has 17 emergency telephones, and there are additional emergency phones located at the east and west Missoula College campusest; one each at Sisson, Craighead and Toole Villages; Lewis & Clark Village; and at the park-and-ride lot located at Dornblaser Field. Learn more about the phones here.

Curry Health Center Counseling addresses the personal, behavioral and mental health needs of UM students. There are licensed counselors, psychologists and a psychiatrist on staff, as well as advanced graduate students. Initial consultations are free, and individual appointments are $10.

All colleges and universities that receive federal money are required to submit an annual report about crimes and safety on their campus. View UM's 2015 Security and Fire Safety report here. All post-secondary institutions also are required to warn their campus communities when specific violent crimes occur on campus and develop crime-awareness programs and security policies.