UCC Mainstream Online

New on-campus security measures

Provided by Theresa Barry / Mainstream
In addition to a new cart, Umpqua Community College has acquired two Oregon State Patrol vechicles. Harvey Day prepares to patrol the campus in one. More changes are coming as funds are made available through grants. New public address and door lock systems are requested.

Increased security on campus

A retired deputy with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office started providing security on the UCC campus Nov. 9, 2015 as the first of a series of security changes being sought.

Deputy Scott Batsch will provide security 35 hours a week and remain on staff until June of next year. Batsch was with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for 24 years before retiring, according to KEZI News. The college is contracting with the sheriff’s office approximately $30,000 for their services, and the sheriff’s department chooses the officer.

The security is helping students feel more comfortable although some students still question the timing. "It makes me feel better coming to school," student Chloe Elliottt said.

Angelina Esper said, "I feel there should have been armed security on campus even before this incident. I feel better that there is an officer, and I want one at my children's school.

The college is seeking a number of grants in varying stages of completion and approval, totaling about $8 million dollars, Susan Taylor, director of grants and planned giving, said.

“We are working as fast as we can on getting all safety and security items to UCC as quickly as possible,” Taylor said.

Provided by Theresa Barry / Mainstream

Those grants will provide for several security projects if approved. Mike Holland, a retired community college vice president, is part of the temporary volunteer recovery team assisting the president's staff. Holland was the 2007 recipient of the Oregon Student Assistance Commission CCA’s Howard Cherry Award for outstanding community college administrator. He is retired from Linn Benton Community College where he was the vice president of administrative and student affairs.

Holland shared information on security activities with Jenny Friedman, president of the UCC Part Time Faculty Association.

“A new public address system will be installed campus wide. This system will include speakers in the open areas of campus and will work with a new phone system accessible from staff desks. A panic call feature will be included, pending the grant approval. The public address system may be on campus in as little as two to three weeks.

“A new door lock system has also been requested in a federal grant. This system was extensively researched by PCC and is in place on their campuses. This system provides for a key turn on the door itself that will block ingress rather than the key lockbox that is currently used.

“A second stage of the security recommendations will create an emergency and risk specialist staff position, subject to legislature approval. This position may be opened as early as spring term. This employee will provide a repository for all campus safety concerns on campus and these funds will provide for the creation of a campus wide safety plan. This safety plan will be developed with the assistance of outside advisers with numerous opportunities for staff and students to raise issues or concerns and contribute ideas,” Friedman said.

Christine Simmons, TRIO adviser with the TOP office, said she wants "whatever the students feel will make them most comfortable on campus. I'm not certain a stronger presence would have altered the outcome of Oct. 1.”