In this presentation, we address the issue of the fragility of campus safety. The uniqueness of a college campus creates a context for safety that requires an intentional and specific understanding. Campus life for many is no longer (or perhaps never was) ‘an ivory tower’— a place separated and protected from the rest of the community. However, many still have the attitude that a campus is not like the real world in the United States. And in fact, colleges and universities are often much safer and more open than communities around them. Yet, ask any student affairs director or safety personnel, and they can tell you of the ‘near misses’ the student, staff, or faculty that was identified just in time. This ‘just in time,’ however, might have taken months or years for the academic community to respond. Through the exploration of the dimensions of climate issues on university campuses, we discuss how universities can be lulled, for a number of reasons, into reacting rather than acting toward increasing safety. Universities are the repositories and creators of knowledge, but that transition from knowledge to best practice can be difficult. Rather than the institutions where things happen, universities have the potential to be proactive, working to create spaces where safety is part of both knowledge creation and practice.
Jenkins, Pam, "Defining Safety for Universities: The Slippery Conceptual Slope" (2013). DRU Workshop 2013 Presentations – Disaster Resistant University Workshop: Linking Mitigation and Resilience. Paper 3.
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