Dear Students and Colleagues:
We write to report on the work of the task force charged by President Gee to enhance student safety in the areas adjacent to campus. The group – which included student and administrative leaders from across campus – has made the following recommendations to the president:
1. Enhanced safety personnel. The University is committing additional funds to expand its existing Student Safety Service to increase its capacity to transport additional students (beginning in winter quarter). The University will routinely expand the number of police patrols in the most affected areas, based on the types and amount of crime reported. Finally, the University will seek a mutual aid agreement to grant University Police officers joint jurisdiction to patrol in areas adjacent to campus.
2. Revised notifications about crime. The primary goal of the previous electronic messages regarding crimes was to raise awareness and educate students. The task force heard very clear feedback from students and others that these communications were neither timely nor truly educational. The University will implement a system, called Public Safely Notices, to inform students and others by email about particularly serious crimes as quickly as possible. We will retain the Buckeye Alert emergency notification system — which uses text, voice, and email communications — to notify the campus about imminent threats.
3. New and expanded educational programs. The University will create with student leadership a Buckeye Block Watch program in the neighborhoods to create awareness of potential threats through meetings with University Police and leaders, posting lawn signs, sharing literature, and other means. We will expand the geographical reach of Ohio State’s Community Ambassador program to build a greater sense of community and communication among student residents. The University also will work with property owners and others on such issues as outdoor lighting and security.
Finally, we will initiate a series of town hall-style meetings, small and large, to educate students about efforts they can take to increase their own personal safety, including opportunities to take self-defense classes. These sessions will be with University Police, administrators, and student leaders, and they will be responsive to the needs of various safety issues and particular areas.
As part of a great land-grant University, we share a common commitment to strengthen our communities. We do so through collaborative engagements in our neighborhoods, in local schools, and with area businesses. Making our campus area safer is part of that commitment to our community — and it is certainly our enduring commitment to our students.
Yesterday afternoon, President Gee accepted these recommendations, the implementation of which begins immediately and will continue through the coming months. You will hear more about these efforts, and we hope you take part in them. Please know that this is an inclusive and ongoing process, and we always welcome your ideas.
Jay Kasey, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Vice President, Administration and Planning
Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston, email@example.com
Vice President, Student Life