Communication. Does that single word define the path to safer college and university campuses?

Deliberations at a two-day meeting organized by the Academy for Critical Incident Analysis suggest that among those responsible for campus safety and students’ well being, many would answer yes — that better communication is, indeed, the key to more effective violence prevention and, consequently, a lower risk of harm to students, faculty and staff at American institutions of higher education.

The meeting, held March 11-12 on the Columbia University campus, brought together administrators, directors of student life and counseling services, and public safety officials from a half-dozen institutions in the New York area, along with a number of other experts and observers. Virginia Tech University was also represented, as the site of the deadliest campus shooting in U.S. history and also as the subject of ACIA’s last case-study conference, held in July, 2009, in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Arnold “Skip” Isaacs, Conference Recorder

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