In the event of a crisis or safety concern,
universities across the country have procedures to ensure the well-being of
students and faculty on the campus. Campuses plan for the worst-case scenario
and respond accordingly.
The University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point has
procedures concerning how to respond to crises or safety concerns. These
situations range from a natural disaster to active shooters on campus. Bill
Rowe, director of Protective Services, commented on the safety measures taken
“We work to complement risk-management policies at UWSP
and work very closely with the risk-management staff dealing with public safety
emergencies,” Rowe said.
A public safety emergency is a broad definition for a
college campus. Rowe explained that examples of a situation could be something
like a fire on campus, a health-related problem or something of a higher
magnitude that require outside responders.
Director of Risk Management ,Jeff Karcher, explained
that the word “safety” encompasses thousands of policies, procedures,
practices, controls, engineering issues, work measures, behavior and designs.
Every possible outcome is documented and planned for.
“UWSP is very concerned about the health and well-being
of its employees, students, campus guests and visitors,” Karcher said. “The
university has responded to many problems and crises previously, and they have
been handled very well.”
UWSP provides safety opportunities for information
sharing, training and direction setting to the campus and community through
different methods like the Environmental Health and Safety Committee. The
university in turn is responsible for the implementation of the procedures and
Under these current policies, Protective Services
provides additional coverage with regard to crime prevention and personal
safety work for campus. Residential Living staff, like Suites hall director
Christina Lorge-Grover, also receives training to help with safety.
“Hall directors work directly with protective services
and the director of Rights and Responsibilities to go through potential safety
or crisis events and what typical response actions need to be taken,” Lorge-
In addition to the training, every department on campus
has access to a crisis management handbook to provide a guide for action in the
event of a crisis. The handbook is found on myPoint and covers many procedures
for different crisis situations.
“We have policies and procedures for any type of
situation that may arise and have extensive training each fall and throughout
the year to make sure everyone is clear on how to respond,” Lorge-Grover said.
Lorge-Grover further explained that after the crisis
situations occur and are taken care of, all affected offices on campus meet and
debrief on what happened to make sure the current procedures in place are
effective and efficient.
Following a crisis, the university has procedures for
Continuity of Operations Planning, meaning that the primary critical operations
would be kept up and running after an emergency strikes. The object of this
procedure is to move forward until business can be resumed as usual or adequate
other means are met. Continual training is provided to ensure this.
“Bomb-threat training was conducted this past quarter
for key response personnel, and active short drills have been conducted by
Protective Services and local response agencies,” Karcher said.
There are many other extensive training initiatives
happening across campus that cover other topics other than bomb threats and
active shooters. UWSP provides many opportunities for the staff and students to
provide feedback on the safety of the students through new initiatives.
“UWSP is enhancing our communication capabilities,
Karcher said. Beginning this semester, the university will be utilizing Pointer
Alerts which will deliver messages to a student’s email, cell phone and campus
computer to provide information about an active emergency situation that requires
Through all the campus procedures and training, the
general feedback received by staff and students shows that they feel safe on
campus and would be well prepared to respond in an emergency situation with the
training provided to them. Karcher agrees that the UWSP campus is safe.
“The university strives to continuously improve the
campus environment through the best practices,” Karcher said. “Safety must be
part of everyone’s daily life and we all have our share of responsibility.”