Ohio State announces return-to-campus protocols, safety details

The universirty issued an email to students, faculty and staff on August 17 outlining return-to-campus and safety details. Below is a summary of the safety information shared and the full email can be viewed online.

Stay Safe, Buckeyes

The Ohio State campus is a safe place, though it’s in the heart of a large, growing city and crime does occur. We also know that safety can mean many different things to many different people. Ohio State works 24/7 to enhance campus safety, and you can help by taking individual and collective action to help promote a safer community.

Personal safety: Check out Safety Spotlight videos that highlight available resources and ways to stay safe on campus. Other tips include:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and remove earbuds and headphones when walking, especially late at night.
  • Utilize public transportation like CABS or Lyft Ride Smart at Ohio State for students.
  • Download the free Rave Guardian app, so you never walk alone again.
  • Report on-campus crimes to University Police (614-292-2121) and off-campus crimes to Columbus Police (614-645-4545) or the appropriate local law enforcement agency.
  • Always dial 9-1-1 in emergencies.

Navigating campus: The university continues to invest in the future of our campus through construction projects to advance teaching, research and patient care. The route you traveled last year may not be an option when you return this fall, so please plan ahead and allow extra time to get to class or work. Travel and construction maps are available online, and you can sign up for OSUGo to receive text messages about timely construction and traffic information.

Home safety: At home, always lock your doors and windows. It may be tempting to leave the door unlocked for a housemate or friend but that allows easy access for criminals, too. Report suspicious behavior like someone peeking in car windows or walking from house to house seeing if doors are unlocked. Students can get free window and door alarms and safety light timers at the Ohio Union through the Willie J. Young, Sr. Off-Campus and Commuter Student Engagement office.

Do not leave keys in your car and never leave valuables like a laptop or phone unattended in public or visible in your vehicle. Reporting your valuables lost or stolen could prevent the same thing from happening to a friend or neighbor or help you recover your property.

What we’re doing to address safety concerns: To keep the community informed, the university issues a variety of crime and safety notices. We understand that these communications shine a light on crime happening on, or near, our campus and may generate real concern for those who receive them. Knowledge is a powerful tool, so understanding crime trends is critical to allowing our community members to make decisions that will enhance their personal safety.

Ohio State is committed to supporting our off-campus neighborhoods by enhancing safety for those who live there. The university continues to make progress on 15 recommendations from our Community Safety and Well-Being Task Force, with 13 fully or partially implemented, including:

  • Increased Community Crime Patrols made up of community partners
  • Improved lighting and additional surveillance cameras in the off-campus area
  • Expanded discounted ridesharing hours
  • An online safety class that will launch later this fall
  • A partnership with the University District Organization to provide a full-time, licensed independent social worker
  • Enhanced cultural diversity training for the Ohio State University Police Division (OSUPD)
  • Comprehensive safety communication and community outreach

Ohio State continues to develop plans to increase OSUPD joint patrol coverage east of High Street and expand community policing programs. In the interim, during the fall and spring semesters, OSUPD and the Columbus Division of Police (CPD) have increased police presence through crime interdiction programs using overtime to add neighborhood patrols. The university remains actively engaged off campus and is committed to working in partnership with the City of Columbus to address crime in this area.

Join us:

  • The university has planned a number of events to raise awareness and provide safety resources in the community, including offering free welcome bags, tacos and BBQ.
  • Coffee with a Cop: Stop by the Ohio Union from Aug. 23 through Aug. 27 to enjoy a free cup of coffee from your friends at OSUPD. You can get a free cup on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Officers are committed to building relationships of trust – one cup of coffee at a time.