Task Force to better secure OSU campus

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Task Force to better secure OSU campus

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By: Alaina Busch
Posted: 4/30/07
Representatives from Ohio's colleges and universities will meet today as part of a statewide effort to address campus security issues and concerns.

Today's meeting is the first for the Campus Security Task Force, formed at the request of Gov. Ted Strickland after the Virginia Tech shootings.

"The effort is to ensure the communication and response efforts are better than adequate,"said Strickland spokesman Keith Dailey.

The Ohio Board of Regents organized the discussion-based group composed of more than 70 representatives from Ohio's public and private colleges and universities. The representatives will meet by videoconference at eight sites throughout the state, including the Ohio Supercomputer Center in Columbus.

The Board of Regents is a nine-member panel that coordinates higher education policy in Ohio and makes recommendations to the governor and General Assembly. Chancellor of Higher Education Eric Fingerhut said each university's president and board of trustees are legally responsible for their campus safety. He said the task force will first identify the best practices available and then decide what the state can do to be more helpful.

"There is value in sharing plans," Fingerhut said. The task force will compare safety practices and recommend future actions to the governor based on their findings. Depending on how the group's ideas evolve, the outcome could include a statewide coordination of safety practices or a legislation proposal, said Fingerhut.

Rick Amweg, assistant chief of University Police, and Todd Stewart, director of OSU's program for International and Homeland Security, represent OSU along with students Sean McKinniss and Jamie Levine.

"Students are on the front line in the efforts to prevent," Fingerhut said. "Students bring a very important perspective to this."

Levine, a first-year MBA student, said it is important to compare resources and share ideas.

"The causes are bigger than one university," she said, citing gun control policies and mental health issues as areas of consideration.

Levine worked in downtown Washington D.C. during the Sept. 11 attacks as an undergraduate student at American University. She said she experienced first-hand campus safety issues when her campus was evacuated because of bomb threats.

"In reality, there's no way to prevent this," she said. "You can do things to mitigate them, but you can't live in fear."

Alaina Busch can be reached at busch.61@osu.edu.

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Original Source:<a href=http://media.www.thelantern.com/media/storage/paper333/news/2007/04/30/Campus/Task-Force.To.Better.Secure.Osu.Campus-2888077.shtml>The Lantern - April 30, 2007</a>

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Alaina Busch

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The Lantern

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2007-08-16

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Sara Hood

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GERRICK LEWIS <lewis.1030@osu.edu>

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eng

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Alaina Busch, "Task Force to better secure OSU campus," in The April 16 Archive, Item #1118, http://april16archive.org/items/show/1118 (accessed September 22, 2014).