Today's Update: Thursday, October 15

October 15, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, You have probably seen the announcement from President Johnson today about the University Task Force on Safety and Well-Being. I am honored that she has appointed me co-chair of this vital initiative, serving with Administration and Planning senior vice president Jay Kasey. You can read more about it online

Dr. Johnson has made our mission very clear: Improve existing systems and find new and creative ways to better ensure the safety and well-being of our Ohio State community members.  

Safety is not a benefit; it is a necessity. We will be laser-focused on this important work, and that is a promise we make to our students, families and the entire Ohio State community.  

We were all impacted by the death of Chase Meola last weekend, and the issue of safety goes far deeper than one tragic incident. As individuals, we all view and conceive safety differently based on life experiences, needs and identities. It will be imperative that as we move this work forward, we understand how we all conceive safety and how it is operationalized to further support and not harm.   

We will be doing a great deal of work in a short amount of time. Our first report is due before Thanksgiving, and we will continue to work throughout the year. The Task Force will become a standing committee at Ohio State to set the foundation for an approach that constantly evolves and progresses.  

The Task Force will deal with both on and off-campus issues, and our work will be anchored in partnerships, community building and outcomes-based results. We will dig deep into the challenges, opportunities, successes and gaps as they relate to the safety of our community.  

The safety of our entire community is the top priority of this university. This Task Force, and the work ahead of us, are part of that commitment to you and everyone else in our community. Sometimes getting to Scarlet and Great is difficult. But it is essential. 

Melissa