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Review of CLASS Initiatives 2008-10

Overall, campus safety and security has been given a significantly higher level of attention and, where possible, more campus resources since 2007. The Campus Safety: Goal 2010 initiative has involved hundreds of faculty, staff, administrators and students in planning and training activities. The CLASS initiative has brought local and regional first responders and campus personnel together in ways that have significantly enhanced campus safety and security.

Although much has been accomplished, more still needs to be done, particularly in the area of providing necessary resources to enhance mental health and counseling services. Efforts have been successful in using existing resources by building closer ties between community mental health centers and postsecondary institutions, but that is not a substitute for more professional, licensed mental health counselors on campus.

More still needs to be done, particularly in the area of providing necessary resources to enhance mental health and counseling services.

During the past three legislative sessions, the task force has actively opposed efforts that would force campuses to allow individuals to carry concealed weapons on college campuses. The task force has established a coalition of students, parents, faculty, administrators, law enforcement and veterans to express their concerns. Simply put, the coalition believes that there is no scenario where the presence of more guns would do anything other than make campuses less safe.

A review of the priorities established by the task force in the January 15, 2008, report shows progress in many areas.

Improvements have been made to campus notification systems and emergency communication plans. These systems and plans are tested, and the results evaluated to monitor continuous improvement.

National Incident Management System (NIMS) implementation has been a major goal of the task force since 2007. To date, all Oklahoma public colleges and universities and 22 of 29 career technology districts are NIMS-compliant. This represents 89 percent of Oklahoma postsecondary institutions. The remaining institutions are expected to finish their work in early 2011. An important part of compliance has been the review and updating of emergency response plans.

In addition, trainings have been instituted involving multiple stakeholders including mental health counselors, residence and student life staff, community first responders, faculty, administrators, hazardous material teams, public relations personnel, campus health center workers and others.