5 Considerations For Campus Safety
A college student’s whole life happens on campus, making campus safety a priority. Making students feel welcome and secure no matter where they are should be an endeavor for every campus administrator. Below are 5 tips that can help you create a safe, secure, and convenient campus that will give students the access they need while giving administrators the control and accountability they demand.
1. Create and implement complementary policies for academic and residential buildings
From a planning standpoint, the perimeter is the first layer of defense. Schools need to prevent unwanted intruders from entering the secure space that has been defined for students and staff. Even though the needs of academic buildings are different from residential, the objective is the same: safety and security. Having a robust policy that uses appropriate technology, people and training will allow the campus to create a unique but complementary safety and security solution. Keep these key concepts in mind when thinking of access policies:
A. Share student data between both systems.
- ID Photos
- Student ID numbers
- Effective student dates and expirations
B. Share student access levels between both system
- Populating your access control database with student database
- Sharing your access control levels across academic and residential
- Sharing your canceled student access across the access control database
C. Issue only one card for access to academic and residential life (or have complementary policies for card issuance).
D. Develop policies for emergency notification and preparation that work for both academic and residential life spaces
2. Use the correct technology
Residential and academic buildings require distinct but effective safety and security solutions.
- Residential – Limit access by creating secure points of entry that require pre-approved admission, implementing traditional key systems or access controls. These should allow residents and staff to move freely but limit the access of unauthorized individuals. Access control also gives you the ability to issue dorm room access and floor access. Furthermore, by installing auto operators you can significantly enhance the safety, security, and convenience of your students, especially students with disabilities.
- Academic building –This type of buildings have more variables to consider. Due to the volume of traffic, you might not be able to simply restrict access to the building. But implementing the right surveillance systems, installing attack-resistant openings (e.g. school guard glass) and having the correct hardware on the class room and office doors are great starting points to keeping your staff and students safe and secure. By implementing a multi-layered approach, you can use access controls to allow or prevent people from entering labs, staff areas, and so-on, giving you further capabilities to keep your students and staff safe and secure. In the same manner to the residential buildings, installing auto-operators will also significantly increase the convenience of your academic buildings.
3. Implement periodic maintenance of your security solutions
With the amount of traffic that campus hardware will encounter, periodic maintenance is a must. It not only provides longevity but, most importantly, ensures the safety and security of your students and staff deserve. Hardware that has not been well maintained may fail right when you need it most.
4. Train your staff
Periodic training and refreshers are crucial to keeping staff fully educated on the policies and procedures regarding how to communicate, react and respond to incidents and any new technologies being used on campus. A well-trained staff is like a well-oiled machine: they get the job done quickly and effectively. Proper training and repetition are crucial in high-stress safety or security situations.
5. Be prepared to react
Whether it’s the dangers of an active shooter or another emergency, having the right technology is not enough by itself. The people responsible for implementation need to be aware of their exact responsibilities, so no time is wasted. Make sure you have the right staff in the right places to properly react to any safety issues.
Foster campus safety and be Clery Act compliant
The Clery Act is a consumer protection law that aims to provide transparency around campus crime policy and statistics. By implementing the correct safety and security solutions (surveillance systems, access controls…), you can reduce the likelihood of violent crime. In an emergency, sharing information with students and employees helps keep everyone informed and vigilant against further violations. “The Clery Act requires colleges and universities that receive federal funding to disseminate a public annual security report (ASR) to employees and students every October 1st. This ASR must include statistics of campus crime for the preceding 3 calendar years, plus details about efforts taken to improve campus safety.”
Helpful resources on Campus Safety:
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