At Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) students, faculty, staff, and administrators have remained committed to creating a safe and vibrant campus through a united effort that involves unique, year-round, and nationally-recognized safety programs and services.
As the University prepares for its new class of students this August, FAMU public safety officers and campus leaders have focused the last several weeks on preparing students and parents for a safe and productive college experience with presentations and activities that train them on police services, property safety, anti-hazing, personal safety, and sexual assault prevention. During summer orientation specifically, students are adhering to an 11:30 p.m. check-in time, which encourages them to focus on their future academic pursuits.
“Student safety is a key aspect of our orientation programs and is embedded in our daily student life programs throughout the academic year,” said William Hudson Jr., Ph.D., vice president for Student Affairs. “Our mission is to deliver student-centered services and programs that create a safe and healthy campus climate that attracts and retains motivated students.”
Once the students begin their college experience, they will also be provided with tips and tools from the University’s ongoing crime prevention programs and services. For instance, students can participate in free Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) Training, which teaches realistic, self-defense tactics and techniques. The system is dedicated to teaching students, staff, faculty, and members of the FAMU community defensive concepts and methods against various types of assault, by utilizing easy, effective, and proven self-defense strategies.
Along with the 24-hour coverage received from the Commission of Florida Law Enforcement accredited FAMU Police Department (FAMU PD) at campus events, classroom and office buildings, residential facilities, and other campus properties, the FAMU community also receives additional safety support from the Student Escort Team (SET). This inventive team consists of students who are committed to ensuring a safe learning and teaching environment at all times.
SET, a student-run organization advised by FAMU PD’s 30 sworn officers and 47 total staff, provides escort services to students and staff during nighttime hours. Its primary mission is to provide escorts to and from on-campus locations (e.g., classroom buildings, libraries, parking lots, and residence halls).
Also, FAMU utilizes technology to keep students, faculty, and staff alert of crime and emergencies around or near campus through its text messaging, email, and web-based real-time alert system. This ensures that campus community members are aware of their surroundings and stay distant from any dangerous areas. The system also alerts students on whether the area is clear to return to and provides information about other safety situations such as severe weather or any other calamity.
The FAMU PD and University Housing also offer a theft-prevention program known as Operation ID. The program involves marking property with an identifying number as a means of discouraging burglary and theft. It also provides police with a way to identify property should it be stolen and recovered. The service is offered at no charge to participants.
Also, there are more than 75, 24-hour security cameras placed strategically throughout campus and multiple Emergency Blue Light Systems are housed on the campus. The FAMU Department of Campus Safety & Security monitors the University’s Emergency Blue Light Systems to facilitate reporting emergencies. When activated, the interactive emergency system automatically relays the geographical location of the caller to the Police Communications Center
The University also recently received an $864,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to provide students with drug abuse prevention skills as a part of its mandatory training course, the First-Year Experience Program. The program is an integral part of ensuring the social and academic success of a student, as well as promoting campus safety.
“We are always looking for ways to equip our students to become informed, well-prepared citizens and to provide additional support to our campus to help ensure that we continue to lead the way in providing a safe and healthy learning environment for our scholars. Offering best-in-class campus safety is a key component of my strategic initiatives,” said President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D. “Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University is committed to the development and protection of the whole student, academically, socially, and health wise.”
Niche, a college ranking and review firm founded at Carnegie Mellon University, recently listed FAMU as one of the safest campuses in the state of Florida for 2015.
Each year, the University publishes a campus safety report and crime prevention guide and provides weekly updates on its website on campus crime and safety awareness. The report can be viewed at the following link: http://www.famu.edu/PublicSafety/2013-14%20Campus%20Security%20Report%20FINAL.pdf.