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USG releases student safety survey on day of bomb threat

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Just a few hours after a bomb threat forced university officials to close four campus buildings, Ohio State’s Undergraduate Student Government released a survey asking students to voice their safety concerns.

More than 2,000 students were invited to the Facebook event titled “USG Student Safety Survey,” with more than 200 confirmed attendees as of Sunday night.

The event features a link to a survey requesting students to evaluate how safe they feel on a scale of 1 to 10 both on and off campus in the morning, afternoon and night. It also asks for opinions on Student Safety Services, residence hall safety and areas that might need better lighting on campus.

USG President Micah Kamrass said his organization’s “most important job is to listen to students,” so surveys like this are important.

USG’s Student Safety Committee, which created the survey, has been working on the survey “over the course of the quarter,” said Hayden Young, the committee’s associate director for law enforcement.

Young said the survey’s timing was “coincidental” and that the group had planned to release the survey Tuesday before learning of the bomb threat.

But Young hopes the bomb threat will increase the number of people who respond to the survey.

“We hope it has an effect,” Young said. “We want to get an idea of what people are concerned with.”

Allison Tischler, a second-year in English, took the survey, in large part because of the bomb scare.

“In light of yesterday, I wondered if there were any questions about the bomb threat,” Tischler said. “I was just curious to see what it asked.”

Tara Workman, USG’s associate director for libraries, said her main safety concern has to do with the time of day.

“I feel safer on campus during the day and off campus during the day,” Tischler said. “I try to avoid being alone at night.”

Melissa Martel, a third-year in psychology, echoed Tischler’s remarks, saying she generally feels safe on and off campus. But “at night my concerns go up,” she added.

“I think more police presence on foot would help,” Martel said. “At night, even the walk home from the library can be intimidating and scary.”

Tischler said more lighting off campus would make her feel safer.

Workman, who lives on Oakland Avenue, said the street’s “lighting is really bad, so it’s not a fun walk home in the dark.”

Young said USG plans to use the survey results to push for changes that make students safer.

“We’re going to take the results, identify what’s causing concerns, then work with campus administrators and OSU Police and Columbus city police,” Young said. “And whether it’s better lighting or educating students on safety, it depends on the results.” 

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