House Passes Legislation To Notify Students Of Campus Emergency
Security On Campus Inc. (SOC), a non-profit advocacy organization for safer college and university campuses, has commended passage of legislation by the U.S. House of Representatives that will require colleges to "immediately notify" their students and employees when an emergency, such as an active shooter situation, happens on campus.
"As recent incidents have demonstrated, minutes can mean the difference between life and death," says Jonathan Kassa, SOC's executive director. "We called on Congress to strengthen provisions for warning campuses and are very pleased that immediate warnings during life-threatening emergencies will be required. This helps ensure that information is communicated, empowering students and employees so that they can take steps to protect themselves during a crisis."
The House, as a part of legislation reauthorizing the Higher Education Act of 1965 (H.R. 4137), also passed provisions strengthening the campus crime reporting provisions of the Jeanne Clery Act, establishing fire safety reporting requirements for student housing on campus, giving the victims of violent crime the right to know the outcome of student disciplinary action in their cases, and establishing a grant program to improve the emergency notification and security capabilities of colleges. The U.S. Senate may take up the legislation as early as later today and send it to the President for his signature.
SOC was founded in 1987 by Jeanne Clery's parents Connie and Howard after she was raped and murdered in her on-campus residence hall at college, by a fellow student whom she didn't know. SOC worked to secure passage of the Jeanne Clery Act, originally known as the Campus Security Act, in 1990 and continues to be the nation's leading voice for the improvement of campus safety.