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Violence on Campus

A higher education safety preparedness seminar, March 10

Speakers from Virginia Tech will discuss what they’ve learned about emergency management and campus safety since the 2007 shootings. The event is part of a full-scale exercise that will continue this summer.

It can happen anywhere…and it has.

Emergency situations on college campuses have erupted around the country, threatening the safety of the community, and causing administrators to assess the current emergency procedures and implement new ones.

Rhode Island College, in partnership with RIEMA (Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency) and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) will hold a daylong event on Thursday, March 10, in the Student Union Ballroom that will focus on the importance of emergency management, threat assessment and safety measures on college campuses. It will also discuss leadership responsibility during a crisis, as told by the experts.

The seminar is part of a program called “Operation: Education Safe Haven” that will continue in the summer with a full-scale emergency management exercise, and involve federal, state and local entities.

RIC was named the second safest campus in New England and 35th in the nation, according to The Daily Beast news website, and is the first higher education institution in the state to undertake this kind of exercise.

“This takes the classroom outside of four walls and creates a lesson for others to follow,” said J. David Smith, executive director of RIEMA. He said that the initiative evolved from a “simple conversation about common interests and resources to what is being hailed as innovative and unique.”

The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) is the state agency responsible for coordinating federal, state, and local resources to protect the public during disasters and emergencies. RIEMA helps develop plans for effective response to all hazards, trains emergency personnel, provides information to families and communities, and assists in recovery from disaster losses. You can learn more about RIEMA by visiting the RIEMA homepage at

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