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Ariz. Board of Regents seeking to implement new student safety suggestions

PHOENIX — The Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) is now weighing its options after a presentation by a student safety task force on Monday.

The Statewide Student Safety Task Force was charged with coming up with suggestions for ABOR on how to make each of Arizona’s three public universities safer.

Eileen Klein, president of ABOR, said the task force’s suggestions covered a wide range of topics.

“[From] where we can make improvements to our practices, to our messaging out to students and parents and the community, changes to policy and where we can strengthen our partnerships,” Klein said.

Klein said one of the suggestions included providing more on-campus opportunities for students to keep them busy and away from alcohol and parties.

“Student-lead campus activities that students can go to as a substitute for being off-campus or have alternatives to parties that sometimes lead to some of the incidents that we’re most concerned about,” she said.

Specifically for ASU, Klein said there will be a strong focus on law enforcement.

“There are going to be new operations put in place between the City of Tempe and the ASU police,” she said. “There are recommendations on how we can improve our wireless communication and we’re also looking at other ways that we can get some outside assessment of our level of policing resources.”

Tempe’s Vice Mayor Onnie Shekerjian said there are two main issues police face in keeping ASU students safe.

“[One is] alcohol-related incidents and the other one is sexual assaults,” Shekerjian said.

Shekerjian said it is time for ASU police officers and the Tempe Police Department to upgrade their technology and work together to patrol the city.

“We may be using older methods and maybe not have the resources we need to police effectively at a large university in the 21st century,” she said.

The vice mayor said she hopes that if the two police departments collaborate more, it will send a clear message to students about alcohol.

“This is not acceptable behavior and if you’re underage, don’t even think about it,” Shekerjian said.