Student Safety at The Ohio State University

We, students at OSU, are writing to discuss with you an incident we were recently informed of through a social media network. It is our understanding that a student was involved in an incident with Columbus Police Officers where he was left with severe bodily injuries. The incident which occurred on August 29th, 2012 was not shared with the student population by the University, even though it was an OSU student that was injured. We understand that the incident officially took place “off campus” as it was on the East side of High Street, but it was directly across from the Ohio State Student Union and within an area that is readily accepted as a “campus space.” The student required immediate medical attention and we are concerned that this is something that should have been addressed by the campus community. In the last year, we have regularly been notified of “crimes” that happen in heavily student populated spaces, and this fits that description.

Many students are concerned about their safety both on campus and in the greater Columbus community. This is a reflection of the climate that has been rampant on campus, one of racism and hate that is regularly in the faces of those of us who do not blend in well at a predominantly white university. We understand that the University seeks to work with us in remedying this climate of hate, and this would be a step that could facilitate that journey. It is vital that these incidents are investigated and that those who cause harm to students on our campus should be prosecuted. We also know that in order for us to feel safe in a space that regularly forces us to be in fear because of the color of our skin, our gender identities, and even our religious/spiritual identities that we must be informed citizens when these types of attacks happen. We need our campus officials to ensure our safety and security while here at The Ohio State University.

Finally, we need to be aware of the results of whatever actions have been taken against those who put this student in the hospital. We need to know that issues like these are not swept under the rug and hidden from public view in an attempt to protect the image of the University over protecting the safety of your students.

We would appreciate a response from President Gee letting us know that he understands our concerns and pledging to inform us when incidents like this occur on our campus and in the surrounding community (24hours would be an example of what we mean by timely). We would also expect that President Gee will inform the student body of this incident, as well as update the student body when the case has ended. We will anticipate a response by this Friday, October 26th. We are willing to meet with you to answer any additional questions that you have for us.


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