Safety Top Priority As New IU Students Arrive

Traffic jams, alcohol abuse and student safety are concerns as new and returning students flood Bloomington and the IU campus.

As 7000 new and returning students move into Indiana University housing on the Bloomington campus, officials are trying to deal with the security, traffic, and other problems such an influx can create.

IU Police Captain Jerry Minger was monitoring traffic and other problems at various residence halls. Minger says the congestion traffic snarls seemed less intense than in years past. He attributes the change to the fact that incoming students were allowed to move in earlier if they so chose.

Minger says another concern as students return to campus is alcohol abuse. He says last year the department reported a record number of alcohol toxicity cases requiring hospitalization. He hopes an alcohol awareness campaign launched by the Dean of Students office, will help improve the situation. Meanwhile, IU President Michael McRobbie says staff are reviewing security systems to help improve safety and to prepare for emergencies. He says the school has recently tested a text messaging system to aid in notification efforts.

McRobbie says he hopes to have the system up and running within a couple of months. But he says no single system will suffice to deal with emergencies, and the school must have a plan that includes e-mail, telephone trees, text messaging, and other methods of broad communication.

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