School of Medicine

Frequently asked Questions for Students on the Medical Campus

With ongoing demonstrations in St. Louis, how safe is the Medical Campus?
The School of Medicine takes seriously the safety and well-being of our students. In the months leading up to the grand jury’s decision, a group of leaders at the medical school met regularly to review emergency procedures to ensure that our campus will remain safe and secure. During that time, the Washington University Police stayed in close contact with area law enforcement agencies, and they continue to do so now so that we have the latest information. Our police officers also patrol the Medical Campus 24 hours a day and will respond appropriately to any situation that presents a safety concern.

How will I know if there is a serious threat?
We will continue to share new information as we have it. Regular updates are being posted here. If a situation presents a serious threat, you will receive an emergency alert by email and text. As a precaution, please check that your contact information in HRMS, listed under “My emergency preparedness info,” is up to date in case we need to reach you.

What should I do if I feel unsafe traveling to and from the Medical Campus, especially late at night?
Please plan alternate routes to and from the Medical Campus in case demonstrations disrupt roadways for short periods of time. On campus, if you would like a security escort to or from your car, please call campus security, 314-362-4357.

A shuttle service also provides rides home to School of Medicine students who live in neighborhoods surrounding the Medical Campus. The shuttle services are free, but students must present their WUSM identification badges.

Vans to the Central West End and Skinker/DeBaliviere/Parkview neighborhoods (marked “WUSM shuttle DEB/CWE”) depart from Olin Circle on the hour and half-hour, and from near the Barnes-Jewish Hospital south entrance at five minutes past the hour and half-hour, from 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Mondays through Fridays. The shuttles do not operate on weekends or university holidays.

In addition, the School of Medicine’s security escort service is available 24/7 on an on-call basis to take students to the Central West End or Forest Park Southeast neighborhoods. For that service, please call 314-362-4357.

I’m really passionate about the social justice issues raised by the situation in Ferguson. How can I learn more and engage meaningfully in finding solutions to these very difficult challenges?
Events have been taking place across the Medical and Danforth campuses to share perspectives, learn from one another and explore issues relating to social justice and equality. On the Medical Campus, we encourage you to participate in “Perspectives,” a forum that allows us to have an ongoing conversation about issues related to diversity and inclusion here on campus and throughout the St. Louis region. On the Danforth Campus, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the Social Justice Center are hosting opportunities for students across the university to engage in meaningful dialogue. For students who would like to be more actively involved, the Social Justice Center has information about volunteer opportunities and other ways to engage with community organizations and advocacy efforts.

I want to be involved in protest activities. What should I keep in mind? 
The School of Medicine wants to inspire and motivate our students to be active and engaged citizens. Finding creative, meaningful and constructive channels for expression of thought is an important part of your educational experience.

However, we encourage you to refrain from participating in off-campus protest activities that pose a danger to your safety and well-being.

If you decide to engage in protest activities, you are responsible for your own safety and any consequences of your actions. We urge you to:

  • Travel in groups whenever possible; avoid traveling alone.
  • Let others know where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Carry a charged cell phone and your identification with you.
  • Follow the instructions of law enforcement if asked to leave an area.
  • If a situation becomes violent, move immediately to a safe location.

I’m feeling anxious and overwhelmed, and I’m worried about my work. Where can I get support?
This is a stressful time for many people. If you need help coping, please seek assistance through Student Health Services, at 314-362-3523, or by talking with faculty or student support services within your program.