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Safety A Top Concern On College Campuses

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Students almost got a real-life demonstration at an OSU Tulsa safety seminar Tuesday. Just as winds were whipping up outside, officials were talking tornado safety and telling everyone where to go in the event of an emergency, but the wild weather wasn't the only topic. For many students and faculty, campus safety is a bigger concern now more than ever. The events at Virginia Tech are still on the minds of many campuses across the country. The News On 6’s Heather Lewin reports this brought a new focus for Tuesday's seminar. How prepared is the school and what should students do to stay safe?

“I feel pretty safe,” said student Tyler Thompson. “I've never thought for one instant that I mean, something bad would happen to me."

But when it did happen on a campus hundreds of miles away, for students like Thompson it hit home.

“Obviously you feel a lot of empathy for them, knowing they're in a situation that we could potentially be in,” said student Kristin Licciardone. “I think it just makes you more aware of your surroundings and want to know how you can prevent something like that in the future."

President Gary Trennepohl says while the seminar is a regular event, the issue of safety is now more real to many.

“Anytime something like that happens it always causes you to look at what are we doing, how can we do it better, if this were to happen on our campus, what should we do?" said Trennepohl.

School officials do have a policy in place about intruders on campus. They encourage students to immediately call campus police. Police say their mode of response will depend upon the severity of the situation. If someone opens fire inside a building, they say no waiting, they'll go right in. Officials are confident in their policies, but say safety is an ongoing process.

“You need to look at your guidelines and policies and say does this fit or do we need to add something," said Trennepohl.

"It's good to know what your options are if something bad were to happen," said Thompson.

Officials say they don't want to judge officials at Virginia Tech. Tuesday's seminar also addressed mental health issues, what services are out there and how to help others get the help they need.

Watch the video: College Campuses Focusing On Safety
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