In one example, Arkansas State University Jonesboro recently formed a task force on campus safety to examine current safety and security practices on campus. “The university community was stunned and saddened when one of our students, a resident of Collegiate Park Apartments, was shot in his apartment and died the next day,” said Chancellor Robert Potts in a media statement this spring. “This and other campus incidents in recent years have served to remind us of the vital importance of providing the highest level practicable of safety and security for all members of the campus community.”
Chancellor Potts requested ten people in various campus capacities to serve on the force and to recommend reasonable additions or changes to enhance the safety and security of campus residents, employees and visitors.
In another, continuing education move, Las Vegas-based New Mexico Highlands University Police Chief Scott Scarborough conducted a safety walking tour of campus with a group of Highlands’ student senate members and university administrators recently. “Our newly installed IP-based security cameras on campus serve as an effective deterrent to crime on campus and have helped us quickly solve many crimes,” Scarborough says. “We have also added new parking lot lighting and emergency call boxes across campus in an effort to improve campus security.”
Scarborough comments that the effort was a success.
And then, just days later in April, New Mexico Highlands University Campus Violence Prevention Program sponsored a first ever Take Back the Night event as part of the nationally-recognized Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
“We wanted to bring more awareness to issues of violence against women, particularly sexual assault,” says Kimberly Valdez, director for the university’s violence prevention program. “Events such as Take Back the Night help us reach out to the campus community and the Las Vegas community.” The program was launched in January with grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women.