Ohio University chief facilities officer Steve Wood gave a presentation to Student Senate Wednesday about the removal of all 71 safety emergency blue light phones from public use.
Instead of emergency lights, safety measures will be focused on the Bobcat Safe app, which 3,921 people have downloaded, according to Wood. The 3,921 downloads don’t show if this is how many still have the app on their phone or if the app has been deleted afterward.
If that proposal is put into place, the university will be saving $45,000 in maintenance and service fees for the emergency lights. It is unclear what this influx of money will be used for.
History has shown that the emergency phones have mostly been used in false scenarios, according to the Ohio University Police Department. Conversations between OUPD and Facility Management and Safety have concluded this is true, and causes a distraction for officers to check the location if no one is talking on the other side, according to Wood.
“There have been no correlation with blue light phones and crime,” Wood said.
Wood encouraged Senate to make students aware of the Bobcat Safe app as they look for new methods of safety at the university.
Senate also passed a bill supporting the elimination of the 25-year statute of limitations for rape. This would allow criminal prosecution of a person for rape beyond the 25 year limit.
During Fall Semester, Senate put up banners bringing awareness to sexual assault during the “red zone,” according to a previous Post report. The “Red Zone” is the first six weeks of the semester when statistically most sexual assaults occur.
A portion of OU undergraduate and graduate students are married and Student Senate strives to represent and protect all students, according to Women’s Affairs Commissioner Maxeen Ramlo.
Senate also received a presentation from Director of Athletics Julie Cromer about how athletes spend and maintain their funds.
The university’s 2018 to 2019 total revenue was $32.1 million, which mostly came from direct university support, such as scholarships & operations, ticket sales, royalties and sponsorships, according to the NCAA Financial Report.
Expenses total was $32 million, which included $9.8 million in salaries and $8.7 million in scholarships.
The debate over athletic funds and academic funds was brought up at the end of Cromer’s presentation. Comer left Senate encouraging the debate to still continue.
“We continue to challenge ourselves to put more into the operational budgets from external sources,” Cromer said. “I think we’re not alone. There are other campuses around the country that debated if higher education should be a part of athletics. This debate keeps us honest.”
Correction: A previous version of this report misspelled Steve Wood’s name and referred to the presentation as a plan. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.