Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
Illinois State University strives to be a safe, secure, and welcoming place to learn and to live. As such, we are shocked and saddened by violent acts and shootings at public places and schools across the nation. Those incidents remind us, once again, that campus safety and preparedness is a vital community effort.
In recent days, I have had numerous discussions with students, faculty, and staff members about our robust campus safety and security measures and the large team of University personnel who make those plans and procedures work. I encourage you to review those plans yourself on our Campus Safety and Security webpage.
Campus emergency management staff and University administrators continually review those plans to ensure they are up-to-date and that they incorporate best practices for campus safety. Emergency plans are tested through a variety of drills and exercises throughout the year. Those drills and exercises involve personnel from many offices across campus, as well as local law enforcement, fire service, and other emergency response agencies. The University’s state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center allows public safety officials and campus leaders to coordinate emergency response efforts from a central location.
The ISU Emergency Alert system provides timely information to the campus community during emergencies. I strongly encourage all students, faculty, and staff members to register for this service. I also urge you to familiarize yourselves with the Emergency Guide, which outlines steps to be taken if an emergency situation should arise. Flipchart versions of the guide are located in classrooms and offices throughout campus and it is part of the Bird Watch guide from the Illinois State University app.
Preventing violence is also an integral part of our safety and security planning. Officers from our University Police Department, along with unarmed security personnel, are always on-duty and patrolling the Illinois State campus. In addition to their regular public safety roles, ISUPD personnel provide a variety of safety and crime and violence prevention training services to the campus community. Illinois State maintains a weapons- and firearm-free policy and actions that threaten the life and safety of the campus community will not be tolerated. In support of the national If You See Something, Say Something campaign, Illinois State provides a variety of avenues for reporting incidents and sharing concerns. Care teams on campus are available to provide assistance to faculty, staff, and students who are in distress or exhibiting behavior that may be harmful to themselves or others.
We know that even the most carefully laid plans cannot stop all acts of violence, however, we remain steadfast in our commitment to making Illinois State University a safe and secure environment. By being an alert, informed, and prepared member of the University community, you play a vital role in that important process.
Larry H. Dietz