In the News: Safety Director Discusses Campus Security

Augustana Director of Campus Safety Rick Tupper talks with KELO News.

Following Monday's attack at Ohio State University, Augustana Director of Campus Safety Rick Tupper talked with KELO News about campus security measures in place at AU.

Augustana University Talks About Campus Security After Attack On OSU Campus
By Leland Steva

What happened at Ohio State got the attention of campuses across the country, including right here in KELOLAND.

Rick Tupper of Augustana University says there's a plan in place he hopes never gets used. He says if you're a student or faculty member on campus during a similar situation as to what happened in Columbus, you will receive a text message, voice mail, and email, each with three important words.

A video serves as a reminder of how a campus can quickly erupt into chaos. Rick Tupper, director of Campus Safety at Augustana University, says he monitors how other campuses handle violent situations and uses those hard lessons here.

"It's how quick can that accurate information be received and then pushed out to the masses," Tupper said. 

Tupper says there's a national program that Augustana takes part in that calls for any notice of an active threat situation on campus to include the words "run," "hide" and "fight."

"Basically the run part is that your first option is to get away, get as far away from the threat as you can. Second, if you can't, then you hide. You barricade yourself. You see the words shelter in place a lot. You shelter in place to try and keep yourself away from that threat. The last is if you just have no other option that you can mentally and physically know that you can defend yourself," Tupper said.

Being prepared is a key element of the program. Tupper says Campus Safety last year trained all Augustana faculty and staff on how to act in such situations, and the department is always looking at buildings on campus to see the best way lock them down during a dangerous situation. He says people should never have to go through life fearing for the worst, but it's always best to be prepared.

"If we don't walk through it, when it happens, it's too late. We need to be prepared. You have to have the right things in place, and the right people with the right training so when it happens, you can take care of it rather than go, 'I wish I would have known,'" Tupper said.