Conference focuses on safety, security on UNC school system campuses

Campus officials from every University of North Carolina system school gathered at UNC Asheville on Wednesday for a safety and security conference. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

For the first time, campus officials from every University of North Carolina system school came together for a safety and security conference.

The goal of the collaboration is to share the best practices and resources throughout the state to keep the respective campuses safe and continue to foster a healthy learning environment.

“One of the overall goals is that learning, that networking with colleagues from across the state. Perhaps folks will leave here with new ideas to better develop relationships and partnerships within their communities to keep them safe and secure,” Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at Appalachian State University J.J. Brown said.

Wednesday, June 6, was the first day of the inaugural conference. The event of the day taught those in the field how to better communicate with one another and handle emergency situations.

Campus officials and legal and law enforcement experts gathered at UNC Asheville's Kimmel Arena to discuss crucial issues like institutional responses to sexual harassment, abuse, misconduct, and student affairs.

“We have a committee that works on security and safety issues and has been working for the last several years because we know how important it is for all members to have a positive experience at our campuses,” Brown said.

The UNC school system has 225,000 students enrolled across the state. The faculty says their goal is to make campuses as safe as possible for their students and staff.

“It’s something we live every day. We want to make sure we provide a safe place for our campus communities so our staff, faculty, and students have a safe place to learn,” David Walden, the director of emergency management and environmental health and safety at UNC Asheville, said.

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