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St. Olaf Public Safety implements new security measures


With the fall semester in full swing, returning Oles have noticed changes in the security measures implemented around campus. This year, unlike previous years, students do not have access to all residence halls, but only to their respective hall. Additionally, a new protocol was introduced at Rolvaag Library after 8 p.m., students must scan their ID to enter the building. 


For the last several semesters, heightened security has been at the forefront of the college’s plan to ensure student safety. St. Olaf Public Safety collaborated with the Dean’s Office and the Northfield Police Department to discuss the enhancement of campus security. 


Incoming first-years, transfer students, and Residence Life staff participated in safety training during orientation. “This is the first step in a multi-stage training program,” said Director of Public Safety Derek Kruse in an email to The Olaf Messenger. The restriction of students to their resident hall isn’t a new policy. “It was reinstated last spring to bolster safety, ensure accountability, and confirm that only authorized community members are present in the buildings,” said Kruse in an email to The Olaf Messenger. Kruse underscored that these changes are here to stay. 


Rolvaag Library’s ID access requirement is part of a broader, multi-year initiative. “Over the past summer,” said Kruse in an email to The Olaf Messenger. “We equipped the library doors with card readers, aligning with the protocols in other academic buildings on campus.” Several buildings on campus, such as Center of Art and Dance (CAD) and Tomson Hall, already have card readers. Public Safety aims to enhance access control across campus in the coming years by installing card readers in more academic buildings. “As the community may be aware, Security Risk Management Consultants (SRMC) conducted a 360 degree security assessment of our community over the summer,” said Kruse in an email to The Olaf Messenger. “We received recommendations from SRMC at the end of August, and we are currently reviewing those recommendations to determine next steps moving forward.”


Public Safety will host community training events twice a month covering a range of topics such as critical incident response, weather safety, fire safety, and more. Information on campus security events and training opportunities will be sent out by Public Safety.