OU Ranked 3rd Safest Campus in Country

Laurel Kraus, Life Editor

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After being recognized multiple times in recent months for its campus safety, Oakland University’s trend is only growing.

On June 12, the National Council for Home Safety and Security released a list of the safest university campuses in the country based off of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting and the National Center for Education Statistics, and ranked OU as the third.

“Our partnerships with our community are what are key in keeping this community safe,” said Oakland University Police Department’s Chief Mark Gordon. “That coupled with a proactive law enforcement approach, our officers do a good job every day.”

From the blue light emergency phones to night watch in the resident halls, the campus environment is continually adding to its precautions.

“I’m doing my Masters here [at OU] and I lived here during undergrad, [and] never had any problems,” Erin Moore said. “I’ve dropped my phone on campus a few times and it [was] always given to security or some lost and found.”

Gordon reported that while communication between the community and police is at a good place, it can always be better.

“As a police department we have very much publicized and pushed a public partnership police program basically saying that we try to partner with our community to encourage them to call us and say something,” he said.

He urged the campus community to alert OUPD to anything suspicious even if one is not positive that something is actually going on, making the point that people can second guess themselves and worry about bothering the police.

“I think if there’s anything that we could encourage more of, it’s a more timely notification of suspicious activity on campus,” Gordon said. “I always tell people when I give a presentation, you are never bothering the police. If you think it’s concerning, it’s concerning to us as well.”

The OUPD will also be continuing the community liaison officer position in the resident halls, created last year, due to positive feedback and in order to build partnerships with resident students.

Furthermore, a new emergency manager position was just approved by OU and should be implemented by the fall semester.

“This person’s position and their job is going to be the ability to create emergency operation plans and to further support large scale events on-campus and promote emergency preparedness for those types of situations,” Gordon said.

Beyond these, the OUPD plans to adapt safety preparedness to the times.

“Long-term goals, a lot of them, are to remain vigilant with regards to changing trends,” Gordon said. “What is occurring in the world when it comes to threatening the safety and security of us as a nation, and then to be prepared for that in our own local communities.”