Guns are strictly off limits at Washington University in St. Louis, so after two incidents of armed robbery near campus, the school is arming students with… whistles.
Oliver Darcy of Campus Reform reports.
University issues rape whistles following armed robberies, keeps gun ban
Administrators at Washington University (WU) in St. Louis are distributing safety whistles to students, after two incidents of armed robbery occurred near the university.
The whistles are meant to “frighten away” would be evil doers, WU spokesman Steven Givens told Campus Reform Wednesday.
“The whistle can signal your need for help, frighten away someone who means harm to you, or alert others to call the police,” said Givens.
The whistles, which cost the university roughly $2,000, are available to students free of charge and represent a “safe” and “non-violent” way to defend against criminals, he added.
“The Defender is shrill, loud, and of very high quality,” said Givens. “It also bears the ‘WU’ insignia.”
WU currently bans firearms on campus, even for individuals who hold a concealed weapon permit.
“[W]e have a university policy prohibiting carrying firearms on campus,” said Givens. “We have no plans to change that policy at this time.”
Kurt Mueller, a spokesman for Students for Concealed Carry, told Campus Reform on Thursday he finds the idea of distributing safety whistles “absurd” and encouraged UW to instead repeal their ban on firearms.
“I have a hard time envisioning how a whistle is going to stop a robbery,” he said. “I don’t even understand the theory they are working with. If the issue is simply calling attention [to a crime], the person can simply scream.”
The campus police have set up a special webpage promoting the Whistle Program (emphasis in original):
The Washington University Police Department is offering a metal whistle for personal safety free to men and women students, faculty, and staff. The whistle can signal your need for help, frighten away someone who means harm to you, or alert others to call the police. The whistle is safe, non-violent, and, when carried on a key-chain, cannot be used as a weapon against you.The Defender is shrill, loud, and of very high quality. It also bears the “WU” insignia. In fact, it’s exactly the same whistle made for the National Fraternal Order of Police. Whistles are available in the Communications Center of the Police Department, our crime prevention office, or by calling us at 935-5084, or request one on-line. Remember: DO NOT BLOW THESE WHISTLES EXCEPT FOR EMERGENCIES
University issues rape whistles following armed robberies, keeps gun ban (Campus Reform)