Campus safety remains a top priority at UH Hilo

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Date: Monday, August 20, 2007
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

With the 2007-2008 academic year just underway, and the tragedy at Virginia Tech still fresh in the public consciousness, University of Hawaii at Hilo officials report that campus safety and security remain a top priority for its students, faculty and staff.

“The safety and well being of our students, faculty and staff continues to be our paramount concern here at UH Hilo,” noted Chancellor Rose Tseng. “We pride ourselves on providing a quality education with aloha, which means that our top priority is a secure, well-lit campus with a trained, professional and courteous security staff.

“At the start of another school year, we have worked hard to meet the challenges of ensuring everyone’s safety and peace of mind while on campus,” she added.

UH Hilo currently has in place a variety of safety preventative programs, direct services, informational materials, policies, and designated positions to reduce the risk of violence toward students, and to ensure reasonable efforts are made to provide a safe and secure learning environment.

“We have created a safer environment in which our campus is proactively engaged in dealing with situations involving acts of violence, enhancing campus safety and security, and increasing educating our students,” Tseng said. “We will continue to address these situations for the benefit of our students, as well as our faculty and staff.”

Currently, the University has the following in place:
• 18 Emergency Call Boxes
• Emergency Internet communication system
• Counseling Center
• Community partnerships (YWCA Hawai`i Island, Hilo Women’s Shelter, Dept. of Health, Victim Assistance Program, Turning Point for Families, GirlFest Honolulu, Hawai`i State Coalition on Domestic Violence)
• UH Hilo Women’s Center

In addition, UH Hilo has spent over $250,000 on exterior lighting improvements, fire alarm modernizations, and removal of dangerous landscapes. Renovations to coordinate exterior night lights on a central computer scheduler are in progress.

“We also have multiple security guards patrolling our campus as well as two shifts assigned exclusively to the residence halls,” Tseng said. “All of our security guards go through eight hours of campus-specific training before they are eligible for University assignments.

“Our Campus Security recently upgraded their walkie talkies, which share the same frequency as our Housing Staff,” she added. “Security cameras have also been purchased and are being installed in public areas around campus.”

Proposals for the future include a UH Hilo Safety Educator, a Sexual Assault Support Services Coordinator, a Director of Security and additional programs and services, such as Safe Walk, NO HARM: Men’s Alliance Against Domestic Violence, and annual guest speakers.

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