Jill McCluskey, head of the Lauren McCluskey Foundation, addressed college and university student body presidents in Utah with a college safety initiative over Zoom on Friday.
“I will listen and believe you if someone is threatening you,” she said.
McCluskey invited educators to use this promise openly in the classroom, for the security of each student. The foundation, created in 2019, honors Jill’s daughter, Lauren McCluskey, a former University of Utah student and track athlete.
In late October 2018, Lauren was murdered on the U of U campus by an acquaintance she had previously dated. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, “her murder exposed serious flaws in the school’s responses to intimate partner violence, and continuing revelations have spurred widespread reform.”
The theme of Friday night’s meeting was “Lauren’s Promise,” which promotes campus safety for students. The implementation of this promise means information packets will be readily available around schools, more safety resource events will be held, and Lauren’s promise will be included on college staff syllabi.
“It is not about punishing the person who is threatening; it is about keeping the other person safe,” McCluskey said.
As a mother of a daughter who was murdered on campus, McCluskey is driven to bring awareness to the security of each student in colleges and universities across the nation.
158 colleges have adopted Lauren’s Promise across the United States, according to McCluskey.
As a new academic year is starting, please include #LaurensPromise on your syllabus. I need to check the new numbers, but faculty at more than 150 universities have made Lauren's Promise. #ForLauren pic.twitter.com/c7ZfM8aqo6
— Jill McCluskey (@jjmccluskey) August 23, 2021
The Utah Student Association (USA) wrote and pledged their own resolution in accordance with Lauren’s Promise to enhance campus safety. Salt Lake Community College is working to implement Lauren’s Promise and informing faculty about this new initiative.
“Help this initiative push forward, and hopefully we can see some results. We hope to bring this to the faculty and those that support this promise,” said Nouman Kante, student body president of Southern Utah University.
As part of its mission, the foundation focuses on three charitable areas: campus safety, amateur athletics, and animal welfare. Through fighting for these action items, the foundation and its supporters aim to honor Lauren’s legacy.
To learn more about the Lauren McCluskey Foundation, visit their webpage.
Note: The Center for Health and Counseling offers counseling services and other resources to students at SLCC.