OU professors raise money to improve campus safety

Taylor Crumley, Staff Intern

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In recent months, classroom safety has become a dynamic issue across the country. In sync with recent news, the safety of school campuses is being looked at with a keen eye.

Oakland University continuously ranks high on lists of safest college campuses in America. In order for OU to keep this reputation, the campus community is making efforts to ensure safety procedures stay up to date with current trends in the news.

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) at Oakland University presented a donation of $5,000 as part of an effort to properly equip all classroom doors with internal locks to enhance student and faculty safety in case of an emergency.

Currently, the only way to securely lock classroom doors is from the outside with a key, which could be seen as a huge problem in an emergency situation.

Oakland University Student Congress (OUSC) is also getting involved by donating $5,000 toward the effort.

OU-AAUP President Tom Discenna said they are also open to donations from families of students, faculty or anyone who would like to help.

“Students and their families are welcome to contribute as well, and it would be appreciated,” he said. “But as you pay a good deal to be here already, we’re not asking students or their families for additional support.”

OU Chief of Police Mark Gordon has also been organizing safety training sessions for faculty to sustain the safe environment on campus and to make sure students and faculty are prepared in the event of any emergency.

Students and faculty having the proper training and knowledge, as well as having OU’s campus equipped with updated safety precautions, is the key to surviving any emergency situation. Gordon recommended the use of improvised weapons as one way of staying safe in an emergency situation.

“If you wanted to bring something to class, a hockey puck would work great,” he said.

The AAUP will also be distributing 2,500 hockey pucks to all faculty and give the remaining to students to use as a weapon in an emergency situation.

OU offers training classes as well as an educational “Run, Hide, Fight” video that can be viewed on their website. The video showcases a staged scenario of what could happen and how to effectively and efficiently react.

Gordon’s top tip for students on campus is “to be aware of your surroundings while on campus and report all concerning behavior to the OUPD.”

He further stated that OUPD relies on the students and faculty to be engaged and aware of what’s happening on campus in order to most effectively keep the campus safe.

“Intervention is the best way to prevent a serious violent accident on campus,” Gordon said. “Together, through partnerships between the police and the community, we can keep our campus safe.”

With the help of the new upgraded locks on all classroom doors from the AAUP, and student and faculty training from OUPD, Oakland University is attempting to remain on track as one of the safest college campuses in the country.

Students can visit the OUPD website to learn more about how to react in emergency situations.