COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Incoming first-year students at The Ohio State University this year are required to watch a nine-minute video on how to respond to a situation of an active aggressor.
It’s part of an annual effort to inform students about safety resources including the Buckeye Alert system, used to notify the campus of serious emergencies.
The video was revised and updated after an attack on campus in November 2016. Abdul Razak Ali Artan drove his car into a crowd of pedestrians on campus, then got out of the vehicle and started cutting people with a large knife before a campus police officer shot and killed him.
And this year, more interior locks are being added to classroom doors.
“After our 2016 incident, we took a look at what we did right and what we could improve on,” said Robert Armstrong, OSU Director of Emergency Management. ”One of the items that came out of that was that the faculty, the staff, and the students requested locks on the classrooms so this is something that we’re trying to embark on, trying to get this taken care of as soon as possible.”
Also new this year, OSU is partnering with Lyft to offer students a safe and discounted option to travel on or near campus during evening hours.
The partnership will replace the university’s long-running Safe Ride Program. The university expects the program to reduce the amount of time students wait for rides to their destinations, and serve a larger portion of the student population.
Under the plan, the university contributes $5 to eligible students’ rides between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. Riders will be responsible for the remainder of their fare, which university leaders estimate to be approximately $2.
According to the university, user demand outgrew the service capacity of the Safe Ride program.
Lyft will provide 10,000 rides per month to eligible OSU students. Once those rides are exhausted, normal fares will apply.
Campus safety officials said about 5,000 people have already downloaded Lyft through the OSU app.