The Ripple Effect of Virginia Tech: Assessing the Nationwide Impact on Campus Safety and Security Policy and Practice

Source: Midwestern Higher Education Compact

The events of April 16, 2007, were followed by a flurry of activity on campuses across the nation as colleges and universities conducted internal reviews of emergency procedures, notification systems, and policies related to student behavior. Many campuses have implemented new or enhanced processes and technologies to improve communications and the mobilization of emergency resources and first responders. The shootings also spurred renewed discussion and debate about gun safety and weapons regulation, mental health counseling, and the often difficult balance between student privacy and the need to share certain information with parents, medical professionals, and law enforcement agencies.

Subsequent shootings at Delaware State University, Louisiana Technical College, and Northern Illinois University have raised further questions about how such crimes can be prevented and whether colleges and universities are sufficiently prepared to respond to incidents of violence and other emergency situations. This report provides a snapshot of how colleges and universities are addressing these issues and the changes that have resulted from safety and security audits conducted at institutions across the country.

Full report (PDF; 1.6 MB)

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