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2018-2019 Contemporary Issue Topic Announcement

Tuesday, June 19, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Eric Musselman
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Dear Members,

 

Since 2010, the President-Elect has been charged with selecting a contemporary issue topic for the Association to explore throughout the coming year. This gives us the opportunity to focus on a topic that is currently generating discussion in our field, one for which we have passion, and allows the Contemporary Issues committee direction in providing opportunities for members to learn and engage around the topic.

I am excited to share that the GLACUHO Contemporary Issue for 2018-2019 will be Emergency Preparedness: Planning, Implementation, and Training

As campus housing professionals, we are tasked with the important responsibility of keeping our communities safe and responding to a wide range of emergencies. Most of our campuses have some level of emergency plans in place, but how many housing professionals could confidently say that their plans are current and regularly reviewed? Are staff fully trained and invested in the plans? Are the plans regularly practiced through table top exercises or drills? In my conversations with colleagues across the region, a common sentiment is that plans that exist may not be current or may not adequately address the wide range of emergencies we may face, and that staff may not be familiar with, or practice such plans.


Emergency preparedness has always been a passion of mine, and something that I believe to be critical to any housing operation. As a staff member at Northern Illinois University during the tragic 2008 shooting, this need for solid emergency plans was something that was further solidified for me. Since that time, we have seen an increase in violence and school shootings, representing just one aspect of emergency preparedness that requires our attention and planning. Fires, natural disasters, communicable diseases, and utility disruptions are other examples of situations in which we need to be prepared.


This contemporary issue topic provides a great opportunity for collaboration with our existing Campus Safety and Crisis Management committee. While there are obvious areas of overlap, my vision for the contemporary issues committee is to research and educate our members on specific topics and provide some tangible resources that GLACUHO’s membership can use.  


These specific topics include:

  • Educating staff  around language and terminology consistent with FEMA guidelines and resources

  • Developing emergency plans at the department level

  • Training professional and paraprofessional staff and residents on emergency procedures

  • Practicing these plans through tabletop exercises and drills

  • Assessing and evaluating plans in order to identify gaps, inconsistencies, and opportunities for improvement

  • Interfacing with other departments and campus partners as well as first responders

 

I am looking forward to seeing the great work that this committee will do in the coming year as we learn and grow in this important area of planning and practice.  I am confident that the association’s work on this topic will have positive impacts for our institutions in keeping our staff, students, and communities safe and prepared.

 

Nominations of qualified individuals to serve as a chair for the 2018-2019 Contemporary Issues Committee will be facilitated through GLACUHO’s standard leadership position nomination process. More information about the leadership position process will be sent to the membership next week, with nominations opening the week of June 25.  

 

I look forward to connecting with those who may be interested in leading or assisting with the topic of the committee. If you have questions, or would like to talk more about this, contact me at president-elect@glacuho.org.

 

Respectfully,

Eric Musselman
GLACUHO President-Elect
Facilities Project Manager | DePaul University
(773) 325-7196 | eric.musselman@glacuho.org