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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Junior G Wade Taylor IV (4) covers his face after a missed point during Texas A&Ms game against Arkansas on Feb. 20, 2024 at Reed Arena. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
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Ali Camarillo (2) waiting to see if he got the out during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Security experts: Awareness helps prevent terrorism

Heightened awareness is key to preventing acts of terrorism on college campuses security experts said Tuesday as part of an audio conference addressing the terrorist threat on American universities.
The conference, titled “Terror Target:College Campuses,” also discussed issues such as threat assessments, student and faculty safety and crisis prevention, to more than 2,000 listeners, including 40 from Texas A&M.
Asa Boynton, vice president of the Office of Security Preparedness at the University of Georgia, said colleges need to prepare themselves for what they cannot anticipate.
“Many institutions fail to prepare an emergency plan,” he said. “We need to do better at preparing and updating those plans on a daily basis to make sure they work.”
Boynton said that a college campus contains many of the resources that a terrorist wants and terrorism is a great way to come into a campus and interrupt daily activities. Because of this, Boynton said that if administrators prepared for events like these, they could minimize damages.
Richard Maurer, managing director of the Security Services Group for Kroll, Inc., said that the company is currently a worldwide leader in providing threat assessment and risk management services to many universities, corporations and agencies.
Maurer said the level of risk is the first thing his company looks for when preparing a security assessment for an organization.
“Universities tend to be very good targets,” he said. “Just the nature of campuses make them wide open.”
Kroll, Inc. typically analyzes three categories for colleges, including terrorism, environmental and location risks.
A few risks Maurer identified included elements such as ROTC programs, government funded research facilities and locations by railroad tracks.
Maurer stressed that not every risk could be identified, but every effort must be made to realize the major ones.
“The World Trade Center was probably one of the most secure buildings in the world,” he said, “but it wasn’t ready for an airplane slamming into the side of it.”
Maurer said that every establishment , including universities, needs to have an emergency procedure and warning plan that will be effective for the organization it will be applied to.
“Always plan for Murphy’s Law,” he said. “If it can go wrong, it will go wrong.”
Dr. Bill Waugh of the Georgia State Public Administration and Urban Studies said an emergency plan for a university is a difficult matter because of the different number of people involved in the decision.
Waugh said at a large university, officials would have to deal with reluctant professors, researchers and perhaps even students, who may refuse to evacuate in an extreme situation.
“Experience shows that if you issue a warning, compliance won’t always be the case,” he said. “If you give enough information to people so they know what’s going on, they will be less likely to panic.”
Waugh said anyone interested in terrorism on college campuses should visit the Federal Emergency Management Web site at http:// www.fema.gov for more information.
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