It is important to know that Wilson College does have safety plans and is prepared if an emergency situation were to happen on campus.
Students may not be aware that among the various committees at Wilson there is a safety committee. Their main goal is to make sure the students, faculty, and staff are protected if an emergency were to take place.
The emergency plans cover a large spectrum of safety concerns that can arise at a college campus such as medical emergencies, severe weather protocol, utilities/electrical outages, fire/explosions, bomb/suspicious mail procedure, hostile behavior/active threat protocol, personal protection and several others.
“As an international student, it makes me feel very comfortable knowing that there is a committee in place who is looking out for my safety while attending Wilson. I know that the school is prepared and they are looking out for the best interests of students, faculty and staff,” Alycia Brennan ‘20 commented.
The safety committee meets on the third Monday of every month. The current safety committee is comprised of representatives from the Business Office, Science Center, Human Resources, Housekeeping, Residence Life, Physical Plant, Campus Safety, Childcare, Dining Services, Fulton Farm, and the Equestrian Center. Having a broad spectrum of committee members helps to express the various safety issues that can occur at different buildings and facilities on campus.
The emergency response plan, which can be found on the college website, does get changed and adapted on a regular basis.
“Every couple years, we go through the current Emergency Response Plan and we update the whole plan. It is a living document. When things change, we can go back in and update it as we need to. We go through and review it and make sure everything is up to date,” Brian Ecker, head of the safety committee, explained
Ecker also expresses, “We have a lot of students, faculty, and staff here that we the college, have a responsibility to keep safe. Should something happen and we need to have previously thought about how we are going to respond to that situation so we are prepared when an event happens.”
Many students also believe that having a safety plan figured out on campus is a crucial aspect in college safety.
“It is important because if anything happens on campus, we know that a procedure is in place for everyone to follow. When there is a plan in place, a solution can easily be found. Rather than worrying about what to do in an event, it is somewhat already planned out for us, if an emergency situation arises,” Brennan ‘20 commented.
The safety committee continually looks for training opportunities. Wilson’s current insurance company provides training videos. Wilson also interacts with Franklin County Department of Emergency Services who helps Wilson decide on trainings to go to.
Wilson has tested the emergency plan through simulations with local fire companies and emergency management officals.
“Four years ago, we tested an active shooter on campus and we had the local police, the emergency response personnel, and simulated having an active shooter on campus. We will probably do something like that again in the distant future. We also do table top exercises, where we simulate an event that would happen and sit as a committee and chat about how we would respond to it,” Ecker added.
For anyone who would like to review the safety policy, it can be found online at https://www.wilson.edu/sites/default/files/uploaded/wilson_college_crisis_response_plan.pdf.