Today's Update: Wednesday, November 18

November 18, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, The university’s Board of Trustees is meeting this week, and I’m spending this afternoon presenting to the members of the Academic Affairs, Student Life and Research committee. (You’re probably even getting this message while I’m still in the session.) 

I’m partnering with colleagues from across campus and the Wexner Medical Center to update them on many of the things we’ve been doing related to COVID-19, particularly in the area of quarantine and isolation housing and student engagement. I’m giddy to be able to share the Scarlet and Great contributions so many of you have made this semester with the Board (and everyone else watching!) I’m also showing them a few short videos; one is of TBDBITL playing for students in Q/I housing recently, and others are of some of the remarkable students who have been such a big help advising us and being engaged during the pandemic. You can watch those videos by visiting the Student Life YouTube channel

The other topic I’m discussing with them is the recommendations from the Task Force on Community Safety and Well-being. You’ll recall that President Johnson set up task force and appointed me and Senior Vice President of Administration and Planning Jay Kasey as co-chairs. We were charged to facilitate a comprehensive analysis of the challenges, opportunities, successes and gaps related to the safety and well-being of campus community members both on and off-campus. 

I want to thank everyone who contributed to the work of the task force, including the outstanding members along with students, faculty, staff, family members and others who forwarded ideas, suggestions and conversation starters. 

It is important to note that the task force was developed to be a cross-university and cross-community team that could explore the concepts of safety and security using a multi-layered approach. Core to the effort was the understanding that what creates a sense of safety and security for one person or community may not be the same for another, particularly among historically underrepresented or racially minoritized individuals. The group was designed to facilitate dialogue about a variety of perspectives and lived experiences.  

Our recommendations are meant to focus on resources that are most important to tangibly improving safety, sense of belonging and community confidence among those engaging in the area. 

We identified three themes.... 

  • Safety Awareness and Education 

  • Enhanced Security Measures 

  • Outreach and Engagement Efforts 

I won’t go into detail here about those recommendations, but you can read specifics in this online story. news.osu.edu/ohio-state-task-force-on-community-safety-and-well-being-shares-recommendations/. You’ll also be getting a campus-wide email from Jay and me this afternoon.  

Now the real work begins. There will be three implementation teams comprised of both task force members and other subject matter experts that will be responsible for carrying out these recommendations.  

I’m proud to have been a part of this task force, and I know that it will mean Scarlet and Great things for our whole community.  

Melissa