SUPPORTING NATIONAL CAMPUS SAFETY AWARENESS MONTH

September 30, 2009
Floor Statements

September 30, 2009

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia: Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlelady from California (Ms. Chu) and the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Sestak) for their leadership on the issue of campus safety.

   I rise in support of H. Res. 90, a resolution supporting the goals and ideals of the National Campus Safety Awareness Month. This resolution helps bring awareness to the issue of campus safety. Each year, college campuses across the Nation see a number of criminal offenses, including homicide, forcible sex offenses, aggravated assaults and arson occurring on their campuses. A recent example is the unfortunate murder that occurred at Yale University just a few weeks ago.

   Additionally, over the past few years we have seen numerous tragedies occur at colleges and universities, including the disastrous events that occurred at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University. National Campus Safety Awareness Month provides an opportunity for campuses to evaluate their campus safety practices and engage in efforts to improve campus safety.

   In addition to Campus Safety Awareness Month, one way in which we can improve campus safety would be to provide a one-stop shop for universities to obtain safety information. This is why I introduced the Center to Advance, Monitor and Preserve University Security, or the CAMPUS, Safety Act of 2009.

   The purpose of this legislation is to enable our institutions of higher education to easily obtain the best information available on how to keep our campuses safe and how to respond in the event of a campus emergency. The CAMPUS Safety Act creates a National Center for Campus Public Safety, which will be administered through the Department of Justice. The center is designed to train campus public safety agencies in state-of-the-art practices to ensure campus safety, encourage research to strengthen college campus safety and security, and serve as a clearinghouse for the dissemination of relevant campus public safety information.

   This bill passed the House of Representatives in February. It also passed last year, but it still awaits action from the Senate. Once the National Center for Campus Public Safety is established it, along with events like the National Campus Awareness Month, will be able to greatly assist schools in assessing their campus safety initiatives.

   I commend the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Sestak) for introducing this resolution to bring awareness to this issue and urge my colleagues to support this important resolution.