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University of Utah reveals new safe space building for campus victims

A private room with couches and chairs of differing colors
The University of Utah
A dedicated space in the University of Utah’s new public safety building.

The University of Utah unveiled a new public safety building on Wednesday for victims and survivors of domestic violence.

Four years ago in 2018, student Lauren McCluskey was murdered by her ex-boyfriend on campus. Since the death of her daughter, McCluskey’s mother says that one of the most concerning things was that Lauren didn’t have access to a private place where she could be interviewed after bringing accusations to police.

To prevent other students who might not want to discuss their problems openly, the university developed its new “safe place” building with new upgrades including new K-9 units, a better control room, and increased security and privacy. Perhaps the most impactful upgrade, however, is the soft interview rooms where victims and survivors can share their problems privately.

Keith Squires, Chief Public Safety Officer at the University of Utah, says that these soft rooms are crucial for people who have been recently traumatized or are victims of a domestic crime. Squires says that he is proud of what the building will do for both campus police and its community.

With the new building, Jill McCluskey, Lauren’s mother, is optimistic about the changes that have been made following the death of her daughter. She says that these changes are positive and with the support of everyone involved, she sees more compassion and thoughtfulness for victims.

Both Squires and McCluskey agree that communication is the top priority for campus safety.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.