Spotlight on: Campus Safety Conference

The Campus Safety Conference is a 2-day intense conference for administrators and public safety officials, security and law enforcement executives from all over the country looking for solutions to campus safety, security, emergency management and technology challenges.

10 Common Dorm Security Challenges and Their Solutions

Training, policies, procedures and technology can all help.

Challenge 8: Triggers that could elevate student stress and increase the risk of dangerous behavior (e.g. academic failure, financial difficulties, bullying and personal conflicts).

Possible Solution:

  • Implement a response program to increase security measures in the event of an elevated threat condition where normal security measures may be insufficient for a short period of time

Challenge 9: Properly integrating residence life personnel with campus behavioral threat assessment teams.

Possible Solution:

  • Effectively train residence life staff on the potential indicators of a student of concern and the specific intake process for the behavioral threat assessment program

Challenge 10: Training resident assistants in first response to emergencies (before outside responders arrive).

Possible Solutions:

  • Ensure a residence hall- or apartment-specific emergency action plan is prepared and residence life staff properly trained
  • Conduct regular drills to maintain readiness, critique at the conclusion and update the plans as necessary based on lessons learned.

John K. Horvath is the chief of police and director of public safety of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Frank Pisciotta, CSC is president of Business Protection Specialists (BPS) Inc., an international security consulting firm headquartered in New York with an office in Raleigh, N.C. For more information on BPS, visit SecuringPeople.com.

Photo UMass Amherst

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