Campus Safety sent a Student-L on Oct. 31, informing students that a welfare check was being conducted on campus with the help of the Whittier Police Department (WPD). “The [WPD] is on campus assisting Campus Safety in a welfare check,” said the email. “No action required.” At 1:05 p.m., 50 minutes after the initial email, students were sent another email from Campus Safety stating: “Whittier PD is still on campus, assisting Campus Safety in a student-related investigation. No action required.”
Rumors circulating about a student being arrested as a result of the welfare check, were disproved by Dean of Students Joel Pérez via Student-L on Nov. 1. The email read: “In the process of this investigation. Officers spoke with four Whittier College students. None of these students were arrested and WPD is no longer investigating the situation. All future matters will be handled by the Dean of Students Office.” Due to student confidentiality, the school cannot release details on the welfare check. “From time to time we need to do a welfare check on a student if we have concerns about that student’s well being,” said Pérez.
Welfare checks are conducted by police departments for many reasons, but the goal behind each check is to ensure an individual is safe. Welfare checks often begin when an individual has broken communication with someone they frequently see or talk to. This absence can be interpreted as a sense of danger by others, and that is when they call the police to request they check in on the individual. “Campus Safety usually conducts welfare checks, but on occasion we may ask assistance from the Whittier Police Department,” said Pérez.
Whittier College students are encouraged to report potential threats to campus, and let Campus Safety know if they are concerned about the welfare of another student. To report any suspicious activity or to request a welfare check on another student, contact Campus Safety at 562.907.4211. “If you see something, say something; do something,” said Pérez.