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Do Ohio Northern students take campus safety seriously?

The village of Ada is a safe environment for Ohio Northern University students.  (Adaoh.org photo/Communications)

The village of Ada is a safe environment for Ohio Northern University students. (Adaoh.org photo/Communications)

I join other Ohio Northern University students in feeling safe as I walk across campus to my classes each day. The thought of something dangerous happening rarely enters my mind. I know that theft, a shooting or an attack is possible. But because ONU is a small college, the atmosphere generally feels safe and secure. I would not feel as safe walking around The Ohio State University campus by myself, especially at night.

However, in today’s society, we must be on our guard at all times. Recently, three prisoners escaped from a facility in Lima, Ohio, and local media reported that two of the men were “on the run.” Both were labeled as “dangerous” and one of the men was involved in a 2012 school shooting. Who knew where they were going? Lima is only 20 miles from Ada.

On the night of this incident, I instantly became concerned for the safety of ONU students. I knew that everyone was going to be okay, but the thought of something happening was still in the back of my mind.

I was expecting the Office of Campus Security or other officials to notify students about the possible threat in nearby Lima. I was hoping they would tell us to take precautionary steps for our protection. However, to my surprise, we never received an e-mail or a text message about this ongoing situation, which within hours was drawing statewide media attention. Everything I was learning came from Facebook and other social media, not ONU.

I realize that this incident may have been a one-time event, and students generally feel secure on campus.

Though, do students take their sense of security too far? I am not alone in leaving my cell phone on the dining table inside Mac. I see other students leave their laptops unattended as they go to do something else on campus. Last year, students would leave their doors unlocked as they went to shower or do their laundry. They never thought anything about leaving their rooms unattended and open. 

It takes a matter of seconds for someone to lose their iPhone, laptop computer or other personal valuables.

I hope that students will be more cautious about their personal safety and that ONU officials will examine their policy about keeping students informed about threatening situations in the future. I would hope to learn about these events by my college, not Facebook postings.

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