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CLASS Task Force Background

The Campus Life and Safety and Security (CLASS) Task Force was created by an Executive Order from Gov. Brad Henry in April 2007, following the tragedy on the Virginia Tech campus, where a single shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, killed 32 people and wounded many more before committing suicide.

The purpose of the task force is to review and evaluate current safety and security plans and student counseling services already in place for higher education and career technology institutions and to make recommendations for any needed changes. In addition, the task force researches methods for recognizing students in need and delivering to them appropriate services such as counseling, substance abuse treatment and mental health management. At Gov. Henry’s request, the task force submitted a final report to him and the legislative leadership Jan. 15, 2008.

On Feb. 12, 2008, at the request of the task force, Gov. Henry issued Executive Order 2008-8 extending the activities of the task force for the purpose of implementing the recommendations of its final report and continuing to review and evaluate safety and security at higher education and career technology institutions and make recommendations for modifications as needed. The task force will submit annual reports, and a final report will be submitted by Dec. 31, 2010.

Dr. Glen D. Johnson, chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, serves as chairman of the task force. Vice chairman is Dr. Phil Berkenbile, state director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. The task force also includes 13 members from Oklahoma higher education, career technology education, public safety and health services.

According to the 2009 CLASS Task Force survey, a total of $28 million in one-time needs and $1.3 million in annual needs were identified in the area of notification and response. A total of $187,100 in one-time needs and $2.3 million in annual needs were identified in the area of mental health counseling.