Campus Conversations: Safety

By: Anastasia Hamilton

Old Dominion University has experienced too many tragedies in too small of a time period, and campus administrators have decided to take action. At least three times this semester meetings have been called between campus officials and campus student leaders to discuss safety initiatives.

One impromptu meeting was called after the death of Paul Johnson, an ODU student who died from a punch to his face near campus at a 7-11 on February 23rd. Leaders of the Fraternity and Sorority community, Student Government Association leaders and campus officials met in Virginia House over a quick dinner to identify the safety issues on campus.

ODU Police Chief Rhonda Harris

ODU Police Chief Rhonda Harris

ODU Police Chief Rhonda Harris and her team met once again with community leaders at the Fraternity Sorority Life monthly Roundtables. They discussed a system for sponsors of events to register parties. The registration would be implemented by the Interfraternity Council; similar programs are in place at larger schools such as James Madison University. “We want to know about the parties so we can be around in case they take a turn for the worse,” said Harris.

These conversations established a foundation of communication between students and law enforcement. “The goal is to educate the young people who are having parties,” said Harris. Campus police are willing to speak to students and organizations discussing the issue of campus safety.

ODU PD is not out to bust parties, they are just trying to ensure students are having fun safely. The police are here to protect the students just like students are at ODU for an education.