On the morning of April 16, 2007, students, faculty, and staff began their day like any other. Unbeknownst to them, a deadly act of violence would change their lives forever. By the end of that morning, 33 people were killed and 23 wounded. This incident, of course, was the shooting at Virginia Tech, which remains the deadliest school shooting in United States history.
According to a 2018 study by the Collegiate Times, 122 people have been killed and 198 injured by gunfire on United States college and university campuses in the years since Virginia Tech. While there isn’t one single course of action that can prevent such tragedies from occurring, there are many ways to prepare and protect your college campus.
Increasing Personal Safety for Students
While securing buildings on campus is important, increasing the safety of individual students is a high priority as well. Keeping the campus well-lit, with plenty of lighting available for students walking across campus at night, can help students feel safe. In addition, colleges should encourage students to walk in groups and make sure students have access to a campus escort service if they must walk alone for any reason. Campus escort services typically offer to walk with students or shuttle students across campus if they feel unsafe. Finally, college campuses should be equipped with panic buttons that will immediately notify campus safety or law enforcement in the event of an emergency. Offering these services gives students an extra measure of safety as they go about their lives on campus.
Increasing Patrol on Campus
Increasing the manpower and coverage of campus security is also an important safety measure for college campuses. While most students recognize campus security officers as the ones who generously offer parking tickets, make sure the student body also recognizes that safety is always the highest priority. Colleges can send this message by increasing patrol, especially in secluded areas. Officers should patrol campus by foot, not just by car, enabling them to respond quickly and provide a personal presence on campus.
Increasing On-Campus Safety Measures
Finally, there are many ways to increase safety using on-campus safety measures. When considering the security of your campus, ask yourself how quickly the campus can be locked down. Does your campus have the ability to remotely lock the doors to buildings and halls? In addition to securing entire buildings, each classroom door should be equipped with a locking mechanism for emergency situations, so students and professors do not have to risk their lives trying to barricade the door.
Having an effective system to notify students of emergency is also of utmost importance. Mass text messages and SMS warnings are incredibly useful for notifying students of potential threats on campus. If your campus is not already equipped with these safety measures, now is the time to make changes that will protect your students, staff, and faculty.
Dedicated to College Campus Safety
At School Safety Solution, we are dedicated to providing safety solutions for all public and private schools, ranging from childcare centers to college and university campuses. With the ultimate goal of saving lives, we offer lockdown shades, classroom door locks, and other safety products for schools to utilize during emergency situations. If you are ready to take the next steps toward increased campus security, get in touch with us at 888-733-0406 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how you can effectively improve safety at your college or university.