By Breonna Grant

Special to The Denisonian

How safe is Denison? Director of Campus Safety, Daniel Hect, sees a promising future for improving the Denison community’s safety.

In response to the passing of Wendell Jackson ‘17, there have been new resources made available to students such as the Nowforce app that can pinpoint a student’s location and immediately put that student in contact with security. There are also new RAD (rape, aggression and defense) classes that will be offered, with the first class starting as early as Sept. 29. 

At the Tuesday Faculty Lunch Series on Sept. 8, Hect discussed high-risk, low-frequency security cases on college campuses. Hect shared his work, Preparing for High Risk Low Frequency Incidents on College Campuses, in which he expresses how college tragedy is not a “Denison problem,” but a “national problem.” Colleges and universities all over America are struggling with the problem of high risk incidents.

Hect says that embracing  a strong community enhances the ability to respond to high risk incidents. In return, this will positively enhance the way that Denisonians respond to campus crisis, and can be used as a guide to revise the policies that other colleges have.

In order to create this strong community, the campus must be in complete coherence. This means that the relationship between the administrative leadership and campus resources must include a combination of strong communication, consistency in actions and ideals and the administration must ensure that campus resources are funded and trained properly so that they are better prepared to respond quickly.

“Denison’s Administrators and Campus resource communication is great, however consistency seems to be a national problem that encompasses many factors,” Hect said.

The administration is taking precautions to enhance performance of campus safety, including the reviewal of the developing strategy for how to move forward with initiatives of engagement.

Teague Magner ‘16 said, “For me, Denison had always felt like a safe place, but I’m continually impressed in how well the campus deals with all issues, especially those related to safety. I feel Officer Hect has led his team and the campus in the right direction.”

Hect said that the university is the driving factor for campus safety’s decisions, and as far as effectively managing resources and being strategic on the training, they will do a lot to improve their capabilities.

Hect commended the members of the the Denison community for being so strong, and encouraged them to continue in their quest to be discerning social agents.

Photo Courtesy of Nelson Dow