Families of Virginia Tech shooting victims designate UF to pilot campus safety program
The University of Florida is one of the first schools in the country that will begin using a series of online self-assessment tools to improve campus safety programs in nine areas including sexual violence, threat assessment and mental health.
The new framework, called the 32 National Campus Safety Initiative, or 32 NCSI, is being released Aug. 13 by the VTV Family Outreach Foundation to help colleges and universities improve their efforts to keep students safe. The foundation, established by families and survivors impacted by the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech, advocates for campus safety and security nationwide.
Several universities, including UF, already have completed a pilot version of 32 NCSI, said UF Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Jen Day Shaw, who served as one of 13 national experts who created the safety framework.
“Student safety is always UF’s first priority,” Day Shaw said. “From our triple accredited University of Florida Police Department to our outstanding emergency management program, our highly respected threat assessment team and national model U Matter We Care Program, UF was well-positioned to serve as a pilot institution and be designated an initial contributor.”
32 NCSI advisory council chairman Peter Lake called the new online tools a revolutionary resource for higher education.
“Institutions are sometimes criticized for campus safety efforts, said Lake, a recognized national expert and law professor at Stetson University. “For the first time, there is now a tool to help campuses implement effective programs across a wide variety of safety metrics.”
Additional areas in which UF will be able to assess its campus safety programs and services are those related to alcohol and other drugs, campus public safety, emergency management, hazing, missing students and physical security.
32 NCSI will launch in a ceremony at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., where Day Shaw will be a guest speaker.