Seminars Planned on Campus Safety
By Mark Kramer
The University of Houston-Downtown’s Department of Public Safety will host a series of upcoming seminars on safety related resources, including active shooter scenarios.
Leading the discussions will be Cynthia Vargas, UHD’s director of emergency management, and Sgt. Trinity Delafance of the UH-Downtown Police Department (UHDPD).
“Knowing the campus landscape and the possible actions you need to take in a crisis is extremely important,” Vargas said. “The goal of these meetings is to provide an open dialogue about what measures we are currently providing in conjunction with UHDPD and discuss what people should do if they are ever faced with a situation.”
Although no one hopes the unthinkable event of an active shooter on campus becomes a reality, discussions will be held regarding the “Run, Hide, Fight” measures persons should take during this type of crisis. According to the Department of Homeland Security’s active shooter website, “run” means go escape if at all possible, “hide” from the shooter if escape is not possible and “fight” as an absolute last resort.
“During these seminars, we want to go deeper into Run, Hide, Fight,” Vargas said. “We want to offer options that are specific to UHD facilities for what people could do in these situations.”
Resources on campus to be addressed include locations and usage of yellow call boxes located throughout the campus and inside elevators, who to call for help and signing up for UHD Alerts, which provides emergency notifications to subscribers when major issues occur.
“Communication is the key in these types of situations,” Vargas said. “I encourage people to sign up for UHD’s emergency notifications if they have not already done so.”
The seminars are open to faculty and staff members that are interested in attending. Registration is required. The series of nine meetings will be held in Room N1099 of the One Main Building on the following dates and times.
- Sept. 17 – 10-11 a.m., 2-3 p.m.
- Sept. 18 – 10-11 a.m., 2-3 p.m.
- Sept. 24 – 10-11 a.m., 3-4 p.m.
- Sept. 25 – 10-11 a.m., 2-3 p.m., and one evening session from 5-6 p.m. in the Academic Building (Room A300).
“We are excited about the opportunity to share information with our UHD community,” Vargas said. “It is our hope to continue these lines of communication in making UHD an even safer campus.”
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.