News

New federal security program introduced at International House

Training focused on calming violence-prone students

The UCPD hosted a Department of Justice (DOJ)-sponsored training program Wednesday at I-House, the first of five to be held around the country. Representatives from Midwest Universities attended, including a team of U of C administrators.

The program trains administrators to help violence-prone students channel their anger. Steven Healy and Gary Margolis, members of Margolis, Healy and Associates, an education security firm contracted by the DOJ to produce the curriculum, led the session.

Marlon Lynch, the University’s Associate Vice President for Safety and Security, said the program was held at the U of C because “it’s a prime location in the Midwest, and [the DOJ] know the University has a strong interest in supporting campus public safety.”

Lynch is also president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, which sponsored the meeting.

According to a press release put out by Margolis, Healy and Associates, “the curriculum is designed to address the behavioral, psychological, legal, and public safety elements of assessing and managing potentially dangerous behavior on campus.” The document said the program was funded after the shooting incident at Virginia Tech in 2007 and Northern Illinois Institute in 2008.

Lynch said he and the rest of the University’s threat assessment team, which includes Associate Provost Ingrid Gould, Associate General Counsel Ted Stamatakos, and Deputy Dean of Students Martina Munsters, has been in place for years. “What this has done is help us refine our processes or review them as a team and apply them as necessary,” Lynch said.

Administrators from Northwestern, UIC, Eastern Kentucky University, Truman State University, and others attended.

Four further meetings are already scheduled around the country, with five more possible, pending DOJ reviews of these first training sessions.