Emergency call box

An emergency call box near student housing is easily identified by its bright, blue light. 

Crime doesn’t stop when the semester starts. It is important that students utilize every tool available to them to stay safe on campus.

In the last three years, crimes on campus have steadily decreased — from 1,073 in 2016 to 701 in 2019 — but those are just the ones reported to the University of Hawai‘i, as seen in the 2019 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. 

Crimes on campus have decreased, but they still occur. 

Last month, Carter Loewen, a UH Mānoa communications major and pitcher for the Rainbow Warrior baseball team, was the victim of a carjacking in the student housing area. He was in his car in the Frear loading zone waiting to pick up a friend. 

A man wearing what seemed to be a security uniform with a badge approached the car and knocked on the window. The man then brandished a knife and forced Loewen to get out of the car. 

“I’ve always been familiar with the area, and I’ve known moped thefts happen and people try to break into buildings and try to steal computers. It’s nothing out of the ordinary,” Loewen said. “I never thought something to that degree would happen to me. I never thought it’d happen to anyone.”

Loewen called the police and they quickly arrived on scene with the Department of Public Safety right behind them. 

Anyone can walk onto a public campus. It is important for students to take precautions with anyone acting suspiciously and call for law enforcement for help.

“I think it’s important for people to be more aware and more cautious of their surroundings because it’s a public place,” Loewen said. 

Sarah Rice, DPS spokesperson and community programs manager, emphasized the resources available for students by DPS to help keep them aware of their surroundings. One resource widely available for all affiliated with UHM is the Rave Guardian app.

“One of my favorite things about the Mānoa Guardian app is the safety timer,” she said. “You can set the timer, let’s say you’re walking from your residence hall to class or to the library or your car, you can set the timer for however long it takes. When you get to your destination you just deactivate the timer. If the timer expires before you deactivate it, then it alerts our department’s dispatch to your location”.

From there, DPS officers will come to your location and follow up with whatever is necessary, including assisting the victim and searching for the suspect involved.

If you are ever unsure about someone who looks to be a law enforcement officer, call DPS at (808) 956-6911. They can confirm if they have sent an officer to your location or not. 

DPS is devoted to keeping the UHM community safe, with officers on campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

They patrol every area of campus, including student housing. 

Student Housing Services works very closely with DPS and maintains a clear stream of communication with them in order to best protect students.

“We work very closely with housing,” Rice said. “A lot of it has to do with sharing information and making sure we are keeping each other aware of crime reports and anything like that. If we have anything concerning that’s reported to us on our end, we make sure they’re aware of it or vice versa.” 

Along with sharing crime reports, DPS is active in the student housing community with fairs and classes. 

For instance, at the beginning of the school year, DPS attended the emergency management fair held at Hale Aloha Courtyard to provide flyers regarding safety information and training agendas to students. They plan to host a table at the Safe Spring Break fair in March. 

DPS offers active shooter awareness and response training, hurricane preparedness workshops, conflict resolution and de-escalation training, safety and wellness workshops and first aid/CPR/AED certification courses. 

For more information go to manoa.hawaii.edu/dps/index.html or manoa.hawaii.edu/housing/

Read Carter's first-hand account of the incident, here: