21, No. 10, Nov. 15, 2001
UI campus safety
and security audit under way
By Sharita Forrest, Assistant Editor
(217) 244-1072; firstname.lastname@example.org
by Bill Wiegand
According to Van Anderson, associate vice chancellor for
administration and human resources, administrators are scrutinizing
departmental units, facilities and existing safety policies
and procedures to determine whether current measures are
adequate or need to be strengthened.
The UI administration
has embarked upon a safety and security audit of the Urbana campus in
response to terrorist activities. Administrators are scrutinizing departmental
units, facilities and existing safety policies and procedures to determine
whether current measures are adequate or whether they need to be heightened.
The audit, being led by the Division of Environmental Health and Safety,
augments the universitys routine safety and security efforts and
will continue indefinitely, according to Van Anderson, associate vice
chancellor for administration and human resources.
"This isnt something that well take aquick look at
and walk away from," Anderson said. "Its part of an
ongoing process and there will be some recommendations to come out of
this. There have already been things implemented such as tighter
security at athletic events and there are other things that you
wont be seeing that have been implemented.
"There are also long-term things that have financial considerations,
such as costs for improved security. Some of those things are happening
right now and some of them will happen as time goes on and dollars become
available," Anderson said.
Reviews are first being conducted of facilities and units deemed at
greater risk for dangerous activity, such as Memorial Stadium and Assembly
Hall, and security is being heightened in those areas.
Fans entering Memorial Stadium for home football games and travelers
passing through Willard Airport in Savoy already have seen evidence
of these stricter security measures, such as the presence of National
Guard troops in the airport terminal, tighter gate restrictions at the
stadium and more police patrolling those locations.
However, there have been few policy changes at the university residence
halls because access already was tightly controlled, according to Anna
Hernandez, assistant director of marketing for the Housing Division.
However, the Housing Division is in the process of installing a card-access
system and expects to have it operational in all the university residence
halls by 2004.
"Safe rooms" also have been established around campus for
students and others who feel they are being harassed or who need to
leave their usual environment for some reason. So far, no one has requested
this service, Hernandez said. Although incidents of inappropriate or
threatening comments have been made, the parties involved have been
referred to the Counseling Center and educational programs are being
conducted in the residence halls to address those issues.