The following message was sent to all Ohio State students, faculty and staff on Thursday, October 15, 2020.
Dear Ohio State Community:
I have directed the formation of the University Task Force on Community Safety and Well-Being to review safety issues on campus and in neighborhoods near the university — and to identify, implement and advocate for additional approaches that address violence, crime, and high-risk activities and behaviors.
We lost a beloved student to an act of senseless, criminal violence this week. Chase Meola was an extraordinary friend to so many in our Buckeye community. We deeply grieve his loss.
This crime has left members of our community feeling anxious and concerned about safety.
Our task force’s charge is clear: Improve existing systems and find new and creative ways to better ensure the safety and well-being of our Ohio State community members.
The task force will deliver its initial report prior to the Thanksgiving holiday next month. This group will continue its work throughout the year and will remain a standing task force of the university.
It will be co-chaired by Melissa Shivers, vice president of the Office of Student Life, and Jay Kasey, senior vice president of the Office of Administration and Planning, which oversees the university’s Department of Public Safety, including the Ohio State University Police Division (OSUPD).
Additional task force membership will include: Ohio State students, faculty and staff; parents; law enforcement professionals from OSUPD and the Columbus Division of Police; public health professionals; representatives of neighborhoods in the University District; Ohio State Student Legal Services; and representatives from Columbus City Council and the Office of the Mayor.
I will continue to provide updates on the important work of this task force.
Be safe and well,
Kristina M. Johnson, PhD
- Visit the Ohio State Department of Public Safety website for resources.
- Add the University Police non-emergency number (614-292-2121) to your phone and follow on Twitter at @OSUPolice and @OSU_EMFP.
- Use Rave Guardian, which allows friends or family to be your virtual guardian and provides faster delivery of Buckeye Alerts and safety notices via push notifications.
- Take advantage of Lyft Ride Smart at Ohio State, which offers students discounted, late-night rides on and around Ohio State's campus.
- Always report suspicious behavior on campus to University Police at 614-292-2121 or off campus to Columbus Police at 614-645-4545.
- Sign yourself and your family members up to receive Buckeye Alerts.
- If you see something, say something. Dial 9-1-1 in an emergency.
- Students in need of support are encouraged to access counseling services by calling 614-292-5766.
- Students can also visit the Counseling and Consultation Service (CCS) website and use the Buckeye Peer Access Line, which operates Monday through Friday from 8 p.m. to midnight. CCS also provides guidance for ways for faculty and staff to support students.
- Faculty and staff who need support are encouraged to call the Employee Assistance Program at 800-678-6265.