ASU programs to enhance public safety on- and off-campus
Arizona State University will implement a series of new and enhanced programs and policies for the fall 2014 semester focused on enhancing public safety and improving the well-being of the community and quality of life for its students, residents in surrounding communities and campus visitors.
Jim Rund, senior vice president for Educational Outreach and Student Services, discussed ASU’s plan as part of the Statewide Student Safety Task Force public meeting hosted by the Arizona Board of Regents on ASU’s Tempe campus June 16. The University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University also presented their plans.
Highlights of ASU’s plan include:
• improving educational efforts aimed at new students and their parents so that the Student Code of Conduct is understood and standards of safety are clear
• extending university student support services to off-campus residences that are in proximity of campus to improve standards of safety and provide personal and academic supports that make transitioning to off-campus living less complicated for students
• working in tandem with local police departments to ensure routine matters of public safety are well coordinated and responded to
“We appreciate the opportunity given to us by the regents and ABOR President Eileen Klein to work through this process. It has led to a renewed cooperative relationship with the City of Tempe and shared goals as it relates to public safety and the well-being of the community,” Rund said. “We believe we have developed intended actions and recommendations to further enhance quality of life in Tempe and for university students.”
ASU’s recommendations focus on several areas:
Coordinate public safety:
• Arizona State University is planning to establish a joint strategic planning group and event task force with the City of Tempe to help make the campus and surrounding community safer.
• ASU will also develop and implement policy changes to address on- and off-campus public safety, to include security plans and safety standard for off-campus apartments, safety standards for first responders, revised standard for football game/event management and other sponsored events.
• A comprehensive memorandum of understanding between ASU and the City of Tempe Police Departments also will be implemented in September 2014.
University standards and expectations:
• All new students will be familiar with the ABOR Student Code of Conduct and complete online training relevant to university standards and behavioral expectations.
• Safety and security standards will be strengthened in off-campus student communities.
• Educational efforts focused on student safety, crime prevention, sexual violence and mental health will be enhanced and expanded.
• Positive social engagement and public events for community youth and university students will be expanded and enhanced.
Community outreach and education:
• Provide more visibility of ASU students and staff in local high schools through value-added programs/services (high school to college transition, mentoring, positive role-modeling).
• Set clear expectations for new students and parents (i.e. zero tolerance for behavior inconsistent with university standards).
• Prepare ASU student for transition to responsible citizenship while moving from on- to off-campus and becoming members of the local community.
• Provide ongoing education for persistent communication with all ASU students reinforcing institutional expectations for all members of the university community.
Additional recommendations for ABOR consideration include reviewing student safety policies on a regular basis; conducting an independent assessment of public safety needs at the three state universities; appointing a non-voting member for the Governor’s Office to focus on public safety and student safety concerns; and identifying funding sources for policing and public safety.
The Statewide Student Safety Task Force was established by ABOR in the fall of 2013 to promote the safety of students both on- and off-campus, and to seek best practices to support and encourage student safety and new ways to promote healthy behaviors and activities for students.
Each university established a local task force with representatives from the university, local law enforcement, local elected officials, Greek life, student government, parents of students enrolled at the university, on- and off-campus multi-housing units, an organization affiliated with extracurricular activities and the local school district.
The three state universities will have their final reports to ABOR July 1. Several working groups will then move things forward and affect changes so the recommended programs will be in place for fall semester.