Be alert and be prepared: Adam Malin discusses recent security alert and student safety

Grace Monk, Editor

On Feb. 24, students received a campus security alert that two students were approached by a man with a weapon. Students received an update on Feb. 25 stating the information provided was untrue. Students and parents still had concerns despite the update. 


On Feb. 23 a campus security officer received a phone call about an incident that occurred on 8th Street. “We were informed that there might have been a weapon,” shared Director of Campus Safety and Security Adam Malin.  


Campus security provided students with information during their investigation. They provided an update when it was determined that no weapon was involved. “The problem was the incident was called in a couple hours late. We had to go off the information we had,” said Malin. “It made it really tough to investigate, that why we encourage students to call right away.” 


Malin has overseen campus safety and security for over five years. He prioritizes student safety and tries to be prepared for any event. “We try to get better all the time,” shared Malin. Campus security regularly trains with the La Crosse Emergency Departments.  


“I think we have a really safe campus,” shared Malin, “but that’s not to say that things don’t happen.” Campus security works to ensure students are safe both on and off campus. Malin works closely with the La Crosse Police Department, which has two Neighborhood Resource Officers who Malin contacts daily. 


“I know a lot of our students live off campus, and I want to make things better for all students,” shared Malin. To help ensure safety, he encourages students to report things they see off campus. “If they don’t report it to the police, they can shoot me an email or call one of our officers.”  


Malin thinks students should feel safe on campus and have nothing to worry about. Malin shared that “If there was a true emergency, we would be using our code red system.” Viterbo’s code red is an app that alerts student and faculty member of emergencies. Viterbo also has light and speaker systems in place to notify students.  


Malin urges students to be aware of their surroundings. “When you leave a building just take a couple seconds. Look left, look right, and check everything.” Students should take pay extra attention at night and refrain from walking alone.  


Campus security also offers a program called Safe Walk for students who are alone or feel unsafe. Safe Walk is a program that provides students with an escort or a ride. Students can call as needed or schedule in advance by calling campus security. Currently, students can only be escorted two blocks. Malin and his team hope to have enough staff by June to extend the distance. 


“If you’re going out at night stay in a group, have a plan if you split up, and always keep your phone charged.” Students should always be aware and prepared, trust their instincts, and report all suspicious activity. Students should report incidents in detail. “It helps when students give a detailed description, everything from what they were wearing to the color of their hair…it all makes a difference to us,” said Malin.  


“We make sure that somebody is here 24 hours a day and 365 days a year,” said Malin. Students can call campus security at any time of the day. Students can also email Malin or use Viterbo Speaks Up. Malin encourages students to provide contact information when making a report online for follow-up questions.  


“I just want students to know, that if they ever feel unsafe around here, they have people to help.” Students can reach campus security and safety at 608-796-3911 or contact Adam Malin at