A multiyear plan is underway to enhance safety and security across Central Michigan University's campus.
Staff from across the university — including the Central Michigan University Police Department, facilities management and residence life — have come together to develop and implement the plan in academic and residential buildings.
"At CMU, safety is our No. 1 priority. We have a very safe campus and the lowest crime rates of any university in the state, yet things can happen anywhere at any time," said Lt. Mike Sienkiewicz of the CMU Police Department. "We want CMU students, faculty and staff to be prepared to handle any situation and come out safe."
Safety in the classroom
To enhance classroom safety, the plan includes installation of new locks and door closures that allow anyone inside the classroom to quickly secure the space. Also, because the new system ensures doors stay closed at all times, it further enhances safety by ensuring fire code compliance.
The system also includes an emergency lockdown feature. During an emergency, this feature is used from inside the classroom through the use of a thumb turn lock or an emergency door lock button, depending on the room.
Even with this new system, Sienkiewicz said that it is important for those teaching in classrooms to make a plan in the event an emergency would occur.
"It is important to review how you would secure your classroom in the event of an emergency," he said. "If you find yourself in a potentially violent situation, call 911 and then implement CMU Police's three-pronged approach — get out, hide out, take out."
Pearce and Grawn halls were equipped with this system during the summer of 2016 and the Biosciences Building was equipped during construction. This summer, installation will take place in Anspach Hall, the Education and Human Services Building, Health Professions/CMED, the Engineering Technology Building, and Moore and Powers halls.
In summer 2018, the following buildings will be equipped: Dow Science Complex; Finch Fieldhouse; Rose; the North Art Studio; the Music Building; and Wightman, Sloan, Rowe halls.
Additional safety information and resources on keeping our campus safe in the case of an emergency can be found on the CMU Police website. Groups and departments on campus also are encouraged to contact CMU Police at 989-774-3081 to schedule a safety presentation.
Protecting living areas
Another step in the plan to improve campus safety will be the installation of card access controls within the residence halls.
The new controls will limit access to residential living areas to those living in each residential community on campus. This will include access controls on exterior side doors and interior doors leading to residential living areas. Main corridors within each hall will remain open to ensure classrooms and residential restaurants access is open to everyone.
Installation of access controls in the residence halls will begin this summer in the Towers and graduate student housing, followed by one community each following summer.