For many students, the fall semester ushers in new classes, new routines, new living arrangements and, for some, new friends and new surroundings. With so much going on and so many changes taking place, it can be easy for students, especially first-year students who may be living on their own for the first time, to be targeted and victimized by others.
Penn State Berks Police has announced the implementation of Tasers for trained police officers. The devices, commonly carried by police nationwide, were implemented by Penn State University Park police officers on Feb. 24, 2015. Penn State Berks is the first campus outside University Park to adopt the Tasers, and they will be carried at most of Penn State’s other campus locations later this year.
The start of fall semester can be a wonderful time of new beginnings, especially for first-year students who are entering a new phase of their lives. As they say good-bye to their parents and settle into their residence halls, new students typically are excited to explore their surroundings and meet new people.
Clery Act training has moved completely online at Penn State. The training, which is required for all Campus Security Authorities (CSA), takes about 40 minutes in its online format, and covers the history of the Clery Act, its requirements, the responsibilities of a CSA and best practices. For information about the training, visit https://psuohrlearning.skillport.com/skillportfe/main.action and select "2014 Clery Act Training."
A small amount of insulation caught fire in a stairwell wall cavity during construction-related demolition today (Dec. 30) at the HUB-Robeson Center on Penn State's University Park campus. The fire was extinguished quickly and there were no injuries.
While students may be focusing on finals or plans for the upcoming holiday breaks, University Police remind students living on and off campus to take a minute to review housing and travel safety procedures before leaving for an extended period of time.
As students settle into their residence hall rooms, apartments or wherever they will call home during the academic year, their thoughts are on meeting the neighbors, learning their way around and finding their classes. During this time, personal safety and security also should be a top priority.
Penn State Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is stepping up its efforts to improve safety in the workplace. EHS is taking a structured approach by setting up special partnerships with various Penn State departments. The "Integrated Safety Plan" (ISP) provides departments with a system for identifying and addressing hazards at the local level. The ISP has been designed to be flexible enough to apply to any unit and doesn't rely on a one-size-fits-all mentality.
A new Web page designed to spotlight the warning signs of workplace violence has been released on the Penn State University Police website. Located at http://www.police.psu.edu/workplaceviolence/ online, the page outlines the significance, severity and warning signs of workplace violence.
Despite a few tragic events at a handful of colleges in recent years, serious violence on university campuses is extremely rare, and universities must balance security interests with students' privacy rights and personal freedoms. In this new era, many colleges and universities have revisited the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the privacy of student education records. In addition to completing this review, Penn State has developed several educational tools to help faculty and the greater University community understand this law, and better determine when it is appropriate to intercede for the health and safety of Penn State students.
Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University -- Deadly shootings at these and other schools are leading to new and innovative ways to identify students in distress and offer help in times of need. Penn State Public Broadcasting has helped create a new tool for faculty and staff to assist such students.
By Graham Spanier
The premise that higher education is connected in any meaningful way with national security interests might draw skeptical, if not hostile, looks from many Americans, including lots of university faculty, staff and students. But connected we are, and always have been.
Penn College Police will increase off-campus patrols in response to recent crimes in Williamsport, including off-campus burglaries and shootings. Since Dec. 13, burglaries at 14 addresses in the college's immediate area (some affecting off-campus student housing) were reported to Williamsport or Penn College Police. The college police force will double off-campus patrols for the foreseeable future, Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour said.
Starting this Fall 2007 semester, students logging on to eLion will be prompted to enter or update their emergency contact information. "They must either confirm that the existing information is correct or update it before they are allowed to proceed," said Karen Schultz, University Registrar. For years, Penn State has collected emergency contact information from students on a voluntary basis. Staff experts in emergency management at Penn State have recently recommended that the information should be collected from all students on a mandatory basis.
College is a time for many students to be on their own for the first time, have fun and make their own decisions. Too often though, when it comes to having fun, some students can fail to realize that a measure of responsibility is much needed to stay safe and free of trouble. In the past year, more than 850 underage drinking citations and arrests and 200 public drunkenness citations and arrests have been issued by Penn State University Police.