The university will improve security in residential, academic and administrative buildings.
Over the next several months, the George Washington University will improve the security of residence halls, classrooms and auditoriums as part of an ongoing commitment to update campus infrastructure, specifically in the area of safety.
“The safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is of paramount importance,” President Thomas LeBlanc said. “Safety is our first and most important priority. The actions that we will take to improve safety on our campuses are tangible examples of our culture initiative at work.”
Last month, under the direction of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Mark Diaz, the university formed a project team, led by Scott Burnotes, associate vice president for safety and security, and David Dent, assistant vice president of facilities and campus development.
The team evaluated campus safety, including protocols and policies, exterior lighting and building security, such as access to spaces, and developed recommendations, some of which will be implemented immediately.
For example, by the end of this calendar year, every residential unit on the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses will be equipped with electronic access, which provides greater security.
The university also will launch a pilot program to add electronic access to selected academic spaces, beginning with the Law School and large auditoriums on the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses. Eventually, the university aims to provide the same capabilities to all classrooms on all campuses.
Enhancements to security for high-traffic university buildings, such as the Marvin Center, Gelman Library, 1957 E Street and the Academic Center, also are planned.
Officials expect to identify more areas for improvement throughout the academic year.
“We take seriously our responsibility to ensure the safety of our university community, and we will continue to prioritize enhancements that are critical to supporting safe campuses for all,” Dr. LeBlanc said. “I want to thank Mark, Scott, David and all in our community who are helping us achieve this goal."