Today's Update: Wednesday, October 28

October 28, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, I want to give you a brief update on the work of Ohio State’s Community Safety and Well-Being Task Force.

You will recall that President Johnson set up the Task Force earlier this month to review safety issues on campus and in neighborhoods near the university -- and to identify, implement and advocate for additional approaches that address violence, crime, and high-risk activities and behaviors.

I am one of the co-chairs, along with Jay Kasey, senior vice president of the Office of Administration and Planning. Student Life is also represented by Willie Young, Sr. and Dilna Cama of Off Campus and Commuter Student Services. Students are represented on the Task Force, as are parents and community partners. 

We had had several meetings already, including some fascinating discussions about what safety means to individuals. I have heard a number of perspectives that show safety doesn’t just mean policing, but involves a wide range of resources.

In addition to the formal sessions, I’ve also hosted feedback meetings with students and parents. These, too, have been extremely helpful and informative. As you can imagine, there can be a great deal of passion involved when talking about issues of safety, and some of the discussions have not been easy. But they have all been important. It is uplifting to hear just how many people want to be engaged. 

We have a website for the Task Force which includes a list of members and a feedback form. Our report will also be posted there when we have it prepared.  

The Task Force will send recommendations to President Johnson next month, and we hope to begin work very quickly to enact short term goals and begin progress to those which have a longer timetable. 

Our goals are simple. We are looking for Scarlet and Great ways to improve existing systems and find new and creative ways to better promote the safety and well-being of our Ohio State community members. Please let me know if you have ideas.