CMU, MSU, UM-Flint speak to House on student and campus safety
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State University is making changes to how it handles security, and it is asking the state legislature to help.
“As I stayed on the line trying to get his attention, what I heard next were the voices of frantic, scared young adults working together to secure the classroom and attend to the wounded,” said Krista Grettenberger.
Grettenberger told the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday what she heard after her son was shot inside Brekey Hall at MSU on Feb. 13.
Students had to come up with ways to secure the room because classroom doors on campus can’t be locked from the inside.
“We’re committed to making adjustments as needed as well. And it’s important for us,” said MSU Police Department Chief Marlon Lynch.
Lynch and leaders from Central Michigan University and the University of Michigan - Flint told lawmakers Thursday what they’re doing to keep students safe, including changes made after the MSU shooting.
One change includes when students return from spring break many doors on campus are going to be locked at 6 p.m. Lynch said it’s a balancing act between student security and keeping an open campus”
“We need to be realistic about what that looks like. If it needs to be open, just how long does it need to be open? Not just a blanket it can be open from 7 am all the way until midnight. Does it really need to be that?” said Lynch.
Lynch said MSU is also speeding up the timeline to upgrade and centralize camera monitoring on campus, but it comes at a cost.
The university leaders said they often have to decide between safety upgrades and hiring a new professor.
Now, state lawmakers are planning to set money aside specifically for universities to improve safety.
“That would be a huge asset for us,” said Lynch.
MSU said a portion of the Spartan Fund will also go towards safety improvements. As of Thursday morning, that fund has raised more than a half million dollars since it was started last month.
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