New scenario-based classroom, portable devices among additional measures to improve student safety

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A series of security enhancements for students and community members at Ohio State University are now available as the university continues to look for ways to increase security on and off campus.

Protecting the campus community and keeping students, faculty, staff and families informed remain our top priorities. The following new tools help complement an existing toolkit of security resources:

  • Stay Safe, Buckeyes is an online safety course that teaches students how to improve their own safety through scenario-based exercises. Students can take the interactive course via BuckeyeLearn. Parents and interested community members can watch all 10 videos on Youtube.
    • Classes focus on the topics most relevant to students who live and congregate off campus and include crime prevention, crime reporting, when and why the university issues safety advisories, mental health, l police engagement and the differences between the Ohio State and Columbus State Police Patrols.
  • Portable personal safety devices that students can attach to their backpacks or purses and pull to sound an audible alarm. The Office of Student Life offers thousands of these devices that can attract attention in an emergency. This is in addition to the nearly 5,000 door and window alarms, security timers and smoke detector batteries that have already been distributed to students this year. Students can sign up for an online pickup time to get one of the devices at the Willie J. Young, Sr. Off-Campus and Commuter Student Engagement office in the Ohio Union.
  • Increase access to Ohio State Alerts – the new communication tool that provides timely updates to students, faculty and staff – parents and families of students. These are separate and distinct from Buckeye Alerts. Instead, these brief and timely updates are designed to provide timely safety advice and information, health resources, traffic information, and more.
  • Expanding the Office of Student Life’s Community Ambassador Program. Another result of the Safety Task Force, the Ambassadors – students who serve as off-campus advocates and focus on an off-campus area assigned to help promote a safer, engaged and collaborative community – is increasing in size and reach. .

The university recently extended Lyft Ride Smart to Ohio State in the Short North area along High Street. Program hours are 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. and discounted trips are no longer capped each month.

“These new offerings provide students with additional tools and give parents and families more information about what is happening around campus,” President Kristina M. Johnson said in an email to the campus community.

Other recent additions include increased private security and mobile lighting and camera systems to support police patrols in the off-campus area.

Following the tragic death last October of Ohio state student Chase Meola, President Johnson created the Community Safety and Well-Being Task Force to help identify and implement solutions holistic for safety and well-being in the campus area.

To date, 13 of the 15 recommendations of the working group have been partially or fully implemented. An overview of security measures and actions and how the university has communicated on security issues can be viewed. here via the Ministry of Public Security.

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