February 17, 2012
Did You Know?: Campus Safety Task Force
Monica Harvey, vice president of Purdue Student Government, stands by an Emergency Telephone System (ETS) "blue" box. Researching new locations for ETS boxes, which are directly linked to Purdue emergency services, is one focus of the Campus Safety Task Force. (Purdue University photo/Andrew Hancock)
Established in 1989, CSTF researches and analyzes proposed campus safety initiatives using feedback from the Purdue community. Meetings are held monthly at the Purdue Police Department and are open to the general public. Representatives from various campus groups use these meetings to brainstorm new program implementation and research tactics, says Monica Harvey, vice president of Purdue Student Government.
"The task force keeps everyone updated on safety issues and improvements around Purdue," Harvey says. "Representatives from campus public safety resources are always at meetings, so it cuts down on time spent finding the correct contact. We can see what the possibilities and options are right away and adjust our plans and programs."
The task force has no set limits and is composed of representatives from many groups on and beyond campus. These campus safety stakeholders include students, the West Lafayette and Purdue police, the Office of the Dean of Students, residence hall staff and the faculty and staff governance bodies, CSSAC and APSAC (Clerical and Service Staff Advisory Committee and Administrative and Professional Staff Advisory Committee).
CSTF has implemented many projects, such as putting light sources in dimly lit areas and researching more locations for Emergency Telephone System boxes. Another CSTF initiative is the Campus SafeWalk program, a 24-hour service that escorts students around campus. Recently, CSTF brainstormed new ways to increase awareness of the Campus SafeWalk program among students. Based on these recommendations, PSG will begin a new public awareness campaign for the SafeWalk program in 2012.
In addition to strong leadership by student groups, representatives of faculty and staff groups on campus also participate in CSTF. This kind of a cooperative atmosphere is important, says Capt. Eric Chin of the Purdue Police Department, because safety initiatives can be immediately discussed and implemented.
"The Campus Safety Task Force is integral to the safety of our community as it improves communications among all the stakeholders within the University," Chin says. "For example, if an issue is brought to our attention in regards to lack of lighting in a certain location, it can be discussed among all the members of the task force and a plan of action can be immediately developed."