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Health, Safety, and Support

The Department of Political Science is committed to the intellectual, physical, and emotional well-being of all our students, staff, and faculty. We have assembled a list of resources on safety, emergency support, finance, health, discrimination, and harassment. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with these resources and share them with others in our community.

Departmental Safety Information

Campus Safety and Emergency Resources

Discrimination & Harassment

Sexual Harassment

Financial Resources

Mental Health Resources

Graduate Students of Color and Undocumented Students Resources

Departmental Contacts

If you are in need of support, help identifying next steps, or need clarification about these resources or how to access them, the following members of the Department are designated contacts and you are welcome to reach out to any of the following people:

Chair, Department of Political Science
Rachel Cichowski,

Associate Chair, Department of Political Science
Mark Smith,

Chair of Diversity Committee, Department of Political Science
Sophia Jordán Wallace,

The Political Science Diversity Committee works to support people affected by departmental climate issues. The current diversity committee for the 2023-2024 academic year is composed of Sophia Jordán Wallace (Chair), Ellen Gregoire, Jamie Mayerfeld, Jon Mercer, Margaret Perez Brower, and  Noga Rotem. Please feel free to reach out to the Chair or committee members.

Departmental Safety Information

-There are first aid kits located in the Main Office in Gowen Hall, the computer room in Smith Hall 220 , and the Political Science Advising Office in Smith Hall  215.

-In the event of a fire alarm being pulled, please evacuate the building.

o   Most departments in the building have designated the Quad as their exterior assembly point (EAP).

o   Do not use the elevator. If you cannot exit the building via the stairs then shelter in your office.

o   Avoid Skagit Lane because that is where emergency vehicles will gather.

o   Even when the siren goes silent, stay outside until you receive official notice from an evacuation warden that we may re-enter the building.

Campus Safety and Emergency Resources

The UW has several resources to ensure campus safety and emergency preparedness. We encourage you to become familiar with what’s available before an emergency arises. Calling 911 is always an option in an emergency situation that is urgent or dangerous.

UW’s Safety Portal is a great place to start when looking for any kind of safety/crisis management information.

UW Alert notifies you of emergencies or crisis situations that may disrupt the normal operations of the University.

Safe Campus (206-685-7233) is staffed Monday to Friday from 8am-5pm and acts as the central point of communication and the coordinating unit for violence mitigation activities across the UW. Speak with staff specifically trained to receive reports of potentially violent situations and provide resources and referrals to UW services.

Safe Zone is an app for sharing your location and requesting assistance while on campus. UW login in credentials are required while using the app. 

Husky NightWalk (206-685-9255) provides safe vehicle escort at night with a uniformed security guard for students, faculty, and staff. Guards can also assist with building and office lockouts (proper ID required) and jump start dead car batteries. The purpose is to help students and employees get to and from campus safely.

24/7 Crisis Resources Portal contains information about resources on campus and county, state, and national levels that are staffed 24/7 that may be needed in an emergency situation.

Discrimination & Harassment 

The University of Washington reaffirms its policy of equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a protected veteran. Information on equal opportunity and policies that prohibit discrimination can be found here.

Harassment, regardless of the reason, is deeply affecting. If you have experienced or observed harassment at UW it is important to address and report the harassment for the health of the recipient and the long-term health of the UW political science community. Depending on the form of the harassment, resources from the following list may be appropriate:

The Title IX Investigation Office investigates complaints that a UW student or employee has committed sex-, gender/gender identity-, or sexuality-based discrimination or harassment. Here you can make a Title IX Report or find additional support and resources.

The UW Bias Reporting Tool is a mechanism for documenting bias incidents but does not automatically trigger an investigation process and it can be done anonymously. Bias incidents are defined as discrimination or harassment based on any protected status.

The Community Standards and Student Conduct (CSSC) team investigates claims that a UW student has committed inappropriate actions (violations of the Student Code of Conduct) that are not sex- or gender-based harassment.

The UW Civil Rights Office investigates complaints of harassment, discrimination, sexual misconduct, and retaliation by UW employees and students.

Sexual Harassment 

Below is a list of resources that may be helpful if you have experienced sexual harassment or violence or observed someone else engage in the behavior.

Definitions of Sexual Assault and Harrassment- Safe Campus has a resource page that offers definitions and tips on knowing the signs.

SafeCampus (206-685-7233) is staffed Monday- Friday from 8am-5pm and a good place to start if you have personally experienced harassment or assault or receive information that someone else experienced harassment or assault. SafeCampus can provide immediate safety planning, provide important information about your rights and resources, and connect you with a confidential advocate who can help you consider all of your options and how to make a plan for your situation.

LiveWell Confidential Advocates provide a safe and confidential space to support students, faculty or staff who have experienced an incident of sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking or sexual harassment.

The Title IX Know Your Rights & Resources Guide provides further information on resources and reporting options so that individuals who have experienced sexual assault, stalking, relationship or intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, or other misconduct, may decide what feels right for their situation.

The Title IX Investigation Office investigates complaints that a UW student or employee has committed sex-, gender/gender identity-, or sexuality-based discrimination or harassment. Here you can make a Title IX Report or find additional support and survivor resources.

The UW Sexual Assault Resources Page provides an array of resources to support students who may have experienced or witnessed sexual assault, some of which are highlighted here:

o   Advocacy

o   Safety Planning

o   Medical Care

o   Community Resources

o   Reporting Options

The King County Sexual Assault Resource Center has confidential advocates available 24/7 at 888-998-6423 to provide crisis intervention, information, and referrals for medical or legal advocacy.

If you would like to know more about how to prevent sexual harassment and promote a more inclusive workplace, the Empowering Prevention & Inclusive Communities (EPIC) program provides peer-to-peer training opportunities for Academic Student Employees (ASEs) and postdocs.

API Chaya Seattle is a community-based organization supporting survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking and working to educate and mobilize South Asian, Asian, Pacific Islander, and all immigrant communities to end exploitation. 

Financial Resources

UW Financial Resources provides some emergency aid options and financial resources for currently enrolled students.

The UW Office of Student Financial Aid has short term loan funds available to students who are experiencing temporary cash flow issues. Graduate students may receive up to $3200.

The King County Immigrant Fee Support Program supports immigrants in King County with paying fees associated with the immigration process.

The UW Campus Food Pantry provides food to students, staff, and faculty who may be experiencing food insecurity.

Health & Mental Health Resources

UW Husky Health & Well-Being is a centralized page with information about health and wellness services on campus such as medical, dental, mental health, and safety.

Hall Health Center  provides medical and mental health care and is located on campus. It offers a wide range of services in person, by phone, and telemedicine, including primary care, nurse advice, labs, and immunizations among other things.

The Disability Resources for Students (DRS) Office provides resources and accommodations for conditions related (but not limited to): mental health, learning, vision, hearing, physical, or health impacts.

Covid-19 Testing page contains information about rapid test availability on campus and campus testing options, as well as guidance on symptoms

UW Graduate Student Health Insurance page contains information about coverage, eligibility, and services.

The UW Counseling Center is a mental health resource where currently enrolled students can receive assistance with adjustment issues, depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, and a variety of other challenges. It is staffed by psychologists and mental health counselors who provide developmentally-based counseling, assessment, and crisis intervention services.

Let’s Talk connects UW students both virtually and in-person with support from experienced mental health counselors from the counseling center without an appointment.

Husky Helpline (206-616-7777 or online chat) provides UW students access to real-time, confidential mental health and crisis intervention support, is available 24/7 and in multiple languages.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Text “START” to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. More than 150 languages are offered.

o   Call 1-877-990-8585 for the Asian LifeNet Hotline (24 hours). Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, and Fujianese are offered.

The National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network is a healing justice organization actively working to transform mental health for queer and trans Black, Indigenous and People of Color (QTBIPOC).

Graduate Students of Color and Undocumented Students Resources

The graduate school has a centralized page with information for undocumented students about the application process, funding, and support services.

The Office of Graduate Student Equity & Excellence is committed to enhancing equity and graduate student access. 

We are grateful to the following units on campus who have information on their sites that we drew from in the creation of our department’s list of resources: UW Graduate School, UW Wellness, UW LiveWell, UW Safe Campus, Departments of Communication, Geography, History, Law, Society, and Justice, Philosophy, Physics, and Sociology, in addition to all sites directly linked on this resource page that are on or off campus. Thank you to Yulenni Venegas Lopez for her labor in assisting in compiling this resource page.