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Council hears safety report; reported crimes decrease

The Binghamton University’ Council’s March meeting focused on safety.

James Van Voorst, vice president for administration, told the council that tragic incidents such as the death of Richard Antoun are becoming more common nationwide, but “we need to have an open campus,” he said.

“We pay particular attention to our programs and to improvements we’ve made that provide the highest level of protection for our students, faculty and staff,” he said.
Chief of Police John Schwartz reviewed the annual campus safety report, providing a three-year overview of reported crimes.

“These numbers show a reduction of reported incidents of about 8 percent,” he said, close to the decrease noted in the prior year.

“Larceny is one of the areas we focus on, especially in the residence halls,” he added.

The number of larcenies has dropped, so “we’re getting the message out with the help of the student affairs staff,” he said. “We hope this trend continues.”
Educational programming and working with the Office of Student Conduct and the University Ombudsman helps resolve issues as well, he said.

The campus is also a leader in the SUNY system and the state for emergency preparedness, Schwartz added, and has a number of continuing initiatives to improve personal and pedestrian safety.

Dean of Students Elizabeth Droz also spoke to the council, reporting on the establishment of the Students of Concern Committee.

“This is a new initiative this semester,” she said. “The point of the group is to talk about early signs of issues on and off campus. We’re working on how to rate situations, who follows up, where to get information. ...

“It’s a more concerted effort and a model we see across the nation,” she said. “We’re not an intervention team. We’re more of a tracking team that comes up with ideas for resolution that haven’t yet been thought of.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08