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How to Better Protect Students, Faculty and Staff at Universities and Colleges

It is in every institution’s best interest to protect its image and reputation as well as maintain them. Oftentimes, that will involve adhering to particular rules as well as taking certain preventative measures to ensure safety. This is especially true when it comes to institutions that provide higher education such as universities and colleges.

From students to faculty to staff, supporting everyone involved is a must, and that starts with providing a learning environment that is safe and secure. Here are some of the best ways to ensure optimal academic outcome by enhancing the safety aspect of a higher education institution.

Plan security with your institution’s particular needs in mind

It’s a rather difficult thing to accept that a variety of crimes are still taking place at universities around the globe. From burglary to violence to sexual assaults, students and staff at campuses are no strangers to criminal acts. While academic institutions’ main aim and purpose is to provide education, it is also their responsibility to offer optimal security levels. One of the ways they can do so is by planning their security strategically while keeping their particular academic mission in mind, whether we’re talking about a liberal arts campus, an engineering school, or a university with an athletics program.

While it is true that security programs go a long way in ensuring the safety of students as well as the staff and faculty, it’s important to note that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach here. In other words, every institution needs to be able to identify their individual needs first. Then, they should tailor their security to fit them rather than opting for a cookie-cutter option that often does more harm than good.

Rely on students and staff training to ensure optimal security levels

Contrary to popular belief, keeping threats at bay isn’t just a matter of having trained security staff in place. In fact, improving campus security starts with providing everyone involved with the proper safety training. When an emergency arises or there’s a threat that needs to be addressed, it’s vital that everyone knows and understands the protocols.

For instance, let’s say there’s an active shooter incident taking place at a university or a public school. Adhering to the emergency protocol such as the ALICE drill helps ensure optimal response to critical situations. By relying on exercises that involve simulations and role-playing, such training can help make everyone involved feel more prepared to respond effectively. Not only can this level of preparedness help lower the risk of harm but potentially save lives.

Elevate your safety levels by providing first aid training

Training everyone from faculty employees to students to respond effectively to a critical situation is a must. However, even if they do manage to lower the risk of harm and prevent a fatal outcome, there’s always a possibility of someone getting hurt in the process. This is why providing first aid training is vital. Oftentimes, there will be minor injuries that won’t require extensive medical care.

However, in some situations, time is of the essence. When waiting for emergency services to arrive is simply not an option, addressing a medical emergency effectively can help ensure a positive outcome for everyone involved. Other than offering training in first aid, make sure that there are first aid boxes available around the campus. You should also consider taking additional safety precautions, such as adding warning signs where needed and reducing the risk of injuries involving spilling of hot or dangerous liquids, and so forth.

Employ tech tools that address your particular security needs

Aside from providing everyone with necessary training and tailoring their security measures to their own particular needs, higher ed institutions should also make use of technology to boost their level of security. Technology has come a long way and these days, there’s a wide range of tools that can be employed as a way of providing an additional layer of security.

That said, it is vital that you address your particular needs and safety concerns when choosing which technology you should use. For some institutions, that will mean employing security systems such as key, asset, and fleet management. For others, it’ll involve making use of video surveillance, access control systems, and emergency alert systems. Consider existing security systems you’re already using, and how well they’ll integrate with new technology. Ideally, they’ll be able to work together instead of creating inefficiencies.

Safety as top priority for higher education institutions

It’s no secret that institutions are at a greater risk of security threats these days. Unfortunately, colleges and universities are no exception, and this only highlights the need for ensuring optimal security levels at such institutions. By taking steps to elevate your levels of safety, you can ensure a safe place and learning environment for your students and staff while also ensuring your institution’s success.