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)—the second largest university in Houston—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 Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz. Annually, UHD educates more than 14,000 students; boasts over 50,000 alumni and offers 44 bachelor’s and eight master’s degree programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service, Sciences & Technology; and University College). In 2018, UHD grew its First Time in College student population by 11 percent and transfer students by 14 percent.
UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston. It also is ranked among 15 U.S. universities with lowest net price to students (according to the U.S. Department of Education). The University is noted nationally as both a Hispanic-Serving Institution and a Minority-Serving Institution. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.