Friday, Jan. 29, 2021 Update:
To date Campus Safety has received two reports about students being approached by persons who did not appear to be part of the University community. These events, and other unverified incidents, have resulted in multiple communications from concerned persons who have heard about these incidents online.
The reported incidents included an invitation to an off-campus bible study, and a comment about appearance. In each case the recipients were uncomfortable with the intrusion and shared their experiences through social media or reports to faculty, staff or students.
Some of the resulting communications have suggested the possibility of human trafficking. While we have no verified reports of any UT-related cases, we have alerted Tampa Police Department. UT’s proximity to the Super Bowl events has increased the presence of local, state, and federal law enforcement officers in our area. As always, UT’s Campus Safety officers patrol campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We also think this is a good opportunity to share with you best practices to use in situations where you may not feel completely safe.
- If you are the recipient of an unwanted comment or conversation by an unknown person, do not engage. Make a mental note of the person, including height weight, clothing, and any distinguishing characteristics or apparel.
- Call Campus Safety at (813) 257-7777, or Tampa Police Department at their nonemergency number, (813) 231-6130, if you are off campus.
- When traveling around town, go with a group.
- Don’t leave friends. If you go out together, come home together.
- Trust your gut. If something doesn’t seem quite right, say something to Campus Safety, a Resident Assistant, Campus Safety Security Assistant, or a faculty or staff member.
- Remember that any campus visitors must have a legitimate educational purpose for being on campus. If you suspect this not to be the case, let Campus Safety know.
- Please be careful about posting unsubstantiated information online. It can cause undue stress and worry.
We appreciate the information that has been shared with us to date. It takes all of us to keep our Spartan community safe.
Campus Safety alerts will be posted to this section of the University's website. The alerts will provide updates as necessary by the University's Emergency Operations Team and department of Campus Safety to inform the community of safety concerns and, if necessary, closures, evacuations, rescheduling and other security matters.
The University offers a free emergency text messaging service to students, faculty and staff. This service will only be used in campus emergency situations. Details and frequently asked questions can be found at Spartan Mobile Alert (SMART).