June 17, 2008

Twenty-first Century Safety: Learning Center Preparedness

By Michael Ruwe, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Originally published in the Learning Center Exchange

It is that time of year when learning center administrators begin to think about the Fall semester. That said, I have mixed emotions as I begin this essay about learning center preparedness: sad that it is necessary; apprehensive that I am able to do something; certain that I must. Perhaps by the end I will have found, if not a solution, then a sense of preparation.

During a regular workday, the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s (UNCW) University Learning Center will host approximately fifty tutors and one hundred tutees. In light of tragic events such as those at Virginia Tech in the Spring of 2007 and Northern Illinois in the Spring of 2008, many questions have been occurring to me with regard to my Learning Center’s preparedness for dealing with an emergency situation:

  • What is the university’s role?
  • Am I responsible for my tutors?
  • How do I prepare myself and my tutors for a threatening situation?
  • Are my tutors responsible for their tutees?
  • The University Learning Center has emergency plans in place for fire, and because we are located on the coast, a hurricane, but do we need a plan for
  • for this “threat”?
  • Each of our 8×10 tutoring rooms has a glass window in the door—how do we prepare it for “lockdown”?
  • Our Learning Lab is a large room that can have up to three tutors and twenty students in it at one time (it also has a glass window in both doors)–how do we prepare it for “lockdown”?
  • Our lobby area, which two front desk workers occupy, has a glass wall front that faces a central hallway–how do we prepare it for “lockdown”?

For the full version of Twenty-first Century Safety: Learning Center Preparedness click on the preceding link.


Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Admin/Management,College

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