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Campus Safety Vital to a Successful School Year

By Dr. Cynthia Spiers, President, Rhodes State College

A new school year always brings a sense of excitement, and perhaps even more so this year. When I say it’s good to have students back on campus, I mean it’s really good given what all of us have endured over these last 18 or so months.

In 2021, welcoming students for a new school year takes on added meaning and responsibility. In addition to preparing all of our students to be productive members of the workforce, we continue to work diligently to keep our students, staff, and families safe in the campus environment.

To that end, I am grateful that Rhodes State College is one of the recipients of the 2021 Campus Safety Grant Awards – believed to be the first time in Ohio history that colleges and universities received statewide funds for this important purpose. Governor Mike DeWine announced these awards on August 30, and Rhodes State was selected to receive $161,200. This will support our efforts to enhance the physical and cyber security of our campus.

The Campus Safety Grant Program is one of two new school safety grant programs launched by the Ohio School Safety Center this year. Governor DeWine created the Ohio School Safety Center in 2019. It is housed in the Ohio Homeland Security Division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety and works to assist local schools, colleges and universities, and law enforcement agencies to prevent, prepare for, and respond to threats and acts of violence, including self-harm, through a holistic, solutions-based approach to improving school safety.

We are thankful for this opportunity and appreciate Governor DeWine, Chancellor Randy Gardner, Department of Public Safety Director Thomas Stickrath, and Ohio legislators for making this funding available. Rhodes State will make the best use of each dollar to ensure that our students are preparing for a successful future in a safe and secure environment.

Here’s to a great year ahead!