EUGENE, Ore. -- With recent robberies near the University of Oregon's campus, university police said student safety is a priority.
After the robberies, UOPD sent out text message and email alerts to notify students. UO Police Chief Matthew Carmichael said they have been increasing their efforts to ensure students safety both on and off campus.
Carmichael said he understands students will be on campus late at night, especially with finals and late night study sessions, so the department offers safety escorts 24/7 to make sure students get home safe.
The department also recently started a fixed-route shuttle going around campus, to give students additional rides. Carmichael said starting Thursday, the shuttle will run every day.
"What I want our students to know is that we are here as a resource for our students and these options for safe rides or getting around campus exist for them, and police officers or campus police are here to serve them," Carmichael said. "The biggest message is truly no UO student should walk alone, and my responsibility as the chief is to make sure that doesn't happen."
Additionally, there are other student-led groups providing resources to students to make sure they get home safe.
One of the groups is called Safe Ride. They provide free rides to students on and off campus. They have about 60 student workers and give rides throughout the week.
Another student organization is the Designated Driver Shuttle, that provides a similar service.
UOPD said between that shuttle, Safe Ride and the fixed-route campus shuttle, they give about 5,000 rides to students every month.
"It is important because it empowers students to be able to come to campus when they want to if they need to study," Sariah Pasillas, a student worker with Safe Ride, said. "It empowers people to not be afraid because they have a ride to get back home. So I think that's why it's important."
Pasillas said after the robberies, Safe Ride has seen an increase in students wanting rides.