Emergency numbers appear on WildCARDs

Janette Neuwahl

Following months of student lobbying for improved campus safety, Northwestern WildCARDs have been updated to include several emergency phone numbers.

The additions to the WildCARDS include numbers for university and Evanston police, Counseling and Psychological Services and a sexual assault hotline.

Students can exchange their cards for free at the WildCARD office on Norris University Center’s underground level, said Art Monge, the office’s manager.

Courtney Brunsfeld, former Associated Student Government student services vice president, said the changes were part of ASG and Women’s Coalition’s campaign to improve campus safety, which was launched after a female graduate student was attacked while jogging on the Lakefill in October.

“Not everyone knows emergency numbers, but because theoretically everyone has their WildCARDs with them, having these numbers will be useful to students,” said Brunsfeld, a Weinberg junior.

Next year’s freshmen will be affected most by the new cards, Monge said. So far, only one or two students have come into the office to turn in their cards for new ones since the new cards premiered at the beginning of the quarter, he said.

Alissa Ross got a new WildCARD recently after losing an older one. She said she hardly noticed the difference since she doesn’t use her card much, but she thinks including the numbers is a good idea.

“It is a good thing to know (these numbers) but I think they should have put the Escort Service on there as well,” said Ross, a Weinberg sophomore .

Mary Zell, a Weinberg freshman, said including the numbers was a wonderful idea but she doesn’t think students will go in to exchange their cards.

“It’s an inconvenience to go in and switch your card, so it would probably slip my mind, but it’s always important to have (that) kind of information,” Zell said.

Despite the inconvenience, Brunsfeld said she hopes some students will see the value of having the phone numbers.

“It’s important to go in and exchange your card to get that information because if students aren’t taking advantage of the safety measures, then it’s not as useful as we envisioned,” she said.

Having quick access to NU and Evanston’s safety services was Women’s Co’s aim when the group came up with the idea to include safety numbers on the cards, said Laura Millendorf, former Women’s Co director.

“It’s a really important statement on the university’s behalf that they’re willing to do this,” Millendorf said. “We expected that we were going to get a lot of objections from the university and administration, but they ended up being really cooperative and enthusiastic, and this part of the process went really smoothly.”

After the group came up with the idea to add safety numbers in November, Women’s Co worked with Brunsfeld to approach administrators and the WildCARD office.

It was not until the end of Winter Quarter that Millendorf learned the idea would materialize.

Considering the recent attacks on students in addition to the student attacked in October, Millendorf said she hopes the numbers will help students in an emergency.

“I know that having these numbers isn’t going to do much unless people use them,” Millendorf said. “This is a small step but a really important one.”