In 1999, the SC Commission on Higher Education took a more proactive role in raising awareness about campus safety among the State’s colleges and universities. The State initiative was the first in the nation. The Commission decided to address the expectation of safety in partnership with South Caronia’s public and independent colleges and universities. The Commission created an annual statewide conference as a way to discuss campus safety practices and model programs, which assist in the protection of students, faculty, staff and administrators on college campuses in South Carolina. These annual conferences provide opportunities in which participants, including campus law enforcement officers, student services administrators, parents, students and county and municipal school resource officers may collectively learn about programs and services that address many aspects of campus safety.
The Commission and the SC Higher Education Foundation has sponsored the Campus Safety Conference each year and has invited the public and independent colleges and universities around the State to plan and participate in this annual event. A variety of topics have been discussed at these conferences, including bystander behavior, alcohol and drug-related crimes, assault, theft, cyber crime, and protection against crimes on campus. National speakers, as well as local experts, have participated in the conferences since 2000. In February 2008, the Conference was renamed the Linda B. Floyd Campus Safety Conference in honor of MS Linda B. Floyd, a member of the SC Higher Education Foundation, for her service as a member of the Foundation and her dedication to campus safety throughout the State.
In addition to inviting state and national campus safety professionals to the Conferences, the Commission has been particularly interested in the inclusion of students. To this end, students from South Carolina colleges and universities have served as delegates to the conference and have been invited to participate in the “Student Forum” which, as a part of the Conference each year, is organized by students. Since 2000, this Forum has served as a way to engage students in discussion about their own safety on campus.
In past years, the Campus Safety Conferences have been held at the College of Charleston, USC-Columbia, USC-Upstate, Clemson, Winthrop, Presbyterian College, USC-Beaufort, and Coastal Carolina University. This year the Linda B. Floyd Campus Safety Conference will be held February 17-19, 2010, at the Medical University of South Carolina and will mark the eleventh year of service to South Carolina colleges and universities.
Responding to the new demands of our ever changing world required colleges and universities to be diligent and knowledgeable about campus safety. In keeping with the history of the conference, we hope to continue the task of safety awareness and bring forth best practices and methods to enhance the quality of safety on college campuses.