Augustana College “Ready to Respond” with safety study

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Augustana College is a beautiful campus. Now, it's also going to be one of the safest places to study.

"I think it's really important for us to feel safe and secure here," said Augustana freshman Jeanette Kuchler.

The aftermath of campus tragedies at Northern Illinois University, Virginia Tech and others is prompting a closer look at safety. That's why Augie is joining forces with eight Illinois campuses and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

"Since we are an educational facility, we're here to learn," said Mark Beckwith, Augustana security. "We can learn from each other."

Augustana will even host a full-scale drill on campus later in May.

While Augie already has a robust plan, the pilot program will help to measure its quality. It's all about preparing colleges to prevent and handle emergencies.

"This is really a group of colleges and universities that will set the benchmarks to create the guidelines for emergency preparedness," said Dr. Evelyn Campbell, vice president and dean of student services.

All of this should take planning to the next level. That will help colleges respond faster and more effectively. That's important to students.

"I think that by improving what we already have that we'll be even safer," said Augustana freshman Ashley Grengs. "I'll feel even more comfortable at school."

A program to provide better safety for students and campuses across the country.