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Local campuses doing what they can to make sure students are safe

6:19 PM, Feb 15, 2008   |    comments
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That's according to Mike Moreland, the emergency preparedness coordinator for the Auraria Higher Education Center.

"A lot of the things we're working on are part of a larger strategy to increase and enhance security on campus," Moreland said.

The three schools that occupy the Auraria campus in Denver: Community College of Denver, Metro State College and University of Colorado Denver have recently taken steps to make campuses safer.

A college rep says there are more lights and less vegetation - taking away places where people can hide. Twenty-one additional emergency phones are also being put in around campus.

"We have acquired a text messaging service to better notify students during an emergency, we're looking at putting up messages on LCD screens around campus," Moreland said.

Starting this semester, posters with security procedures hang in every classroom. An accompanying DVD talks about better ways to protect yourself.

"One of the things we want to do is to have better rapport with the instructors and we hope to in the future have, as part of faculty orientation, emergency preparedness curricula."

Senior Andrew Bateman told 9NEWS he was not afraid to come to school, but he believed little can be done to keep students safe.

"We do whatever we can, but there is only so much that can be done and I think some times unfortunately, these things are going to happen, they can't really be stopped," he said.

Senior Kandy Rose said she was worried.

"The alert system is done through texting on a cell phone, well, I don't have texting on my cell phone, so that concerns me, how would I be alerted?" she said.

Moreland said since implementation this fall, only 12 percent of students signed up for the voluntary emergency text messaging system. He hopes more enroll.

CU Boulder and Colorado State University have similar systems in place.

Metro State Police are also asking students to program their direct number into their cell phones, because when they call 911 it's routed into Denver's system. Please call the Metro State Police Department at 303-556-5000.

In light of the shooting in Illinois, Metro State is holding group counseling sessions starting Friday and into next week.

"We're here, we're here for people to come and talk with us," said Mollie Hill, a staff psychologist at the Counseling Center.

If you'd like to sign up for the emergency text messaging system, call the school you attend. Some have a link on their Web sites.

For the Community College of Denver visit: www.ccd.edu.
For Metro State College visit: www.mscd.edu.  
For CU Denver visit: www.cudenver.edu.

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