Paine College Announces Campus Changes, Initiatives - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Paine College Announces Campus Changes, Initiatives

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Augusta, GA - Updated at 4:10 pm

More than a month after a campus shooting, Paine College is tightening security.

College leaders introducing several ways they say will strengthen and maintain a high level of safety on and off campus.

Paine President, George Bradley tells News Channel 6, you'll need to be prepared to see more officers and more eyes on you on as well as off campus.

It's all to maintain what the college calls a high level of security and neighbors are all for it.

J.P. Vyas works hands on with customers everyday at his store Super Express and he's happy his neighbor, Paine College is taking more of a hands on approach with its security.

"Extra police and extra police from the Richmond County will help a lot and help the security of the whole area too," said Vyas.

More than a month after a campus shooting, Paine College is putting new measures in place to tighten security.

The college says it has just added four new officers to its force, all of them on duty 24/7.

Helene Carter, Assistant Vice President of Institutional Advancement said, "Our police officers have arrest powers on and off campus. And the surveillance by our police and coverage will be implemented throughout the dorms."

Visible identification will be required by everyone on campus. All Paine College students, faculty, staff will be required to wear their Paine College ID exposed and visitors to the campus will be required to get and wear a visitors badge while on campus.

"We have certain components that are open and if somebody walks through and we have our students policing and we don't see that badge, that's an automatic red flag," said Paine College President Dr. George Bradley.

Dr. Bradley says 24-hour security will remain in effect in areas where cars enter campus to add to other new security measures.

"Additional surveillance cameras have been put in strategic places on campus," said Bradley.

Vyas thinks the new plan will help the campus and his business.

Vyas said, "It's good for the good students. Those who are bad students, they'll go out of it."

In order to pay for the security upgrades, Paine College has no plans to increase tuition.

As far as guns on campus, President Bradley says they are still prohibited despite a new law signed by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.

The new security measures start July First.


Paine College officials held press conference Monday morning to announce some changes and initiatives.

Below are some of the points made during the conference:
  • Starting July 1st, Paine College will be a smoke-free campus.
  • Starting July 1st, all faculty, staff, and students will have to wear an ID badge at all times while on campus. Visitors will have to check in. If visitors do not check in, they will be stopped and forced to sign in.
  • Four new campus police officers have been hired, and they have arrest powers both on and off campus.
  • There will be 24 hour security at the entrance of the college.
  • The college is keeping its weapons policy, despite the new bill signed by Governor Deal a couple months ago, allowing guns to be carried in many more places in Georgia.
  • There will be several security cameras placed strategically on campus, while still working closely with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.
  • The school is also working to streamline its budget.
"Twenty four hour security presence will be at all vehicle access entrances. Additional surveillance cameras will be strategically placed on campus," said Dr. George Bradley, Paine College's president.

All of the security changes will go into effect July 1st.

Read the text of a press release on the changes below:

After reviewing the College's operating policies and procedures, the Paine College community came together to review priorities that are in line with the Campus Strategic Plan and developed a strategy for moving forward. The leadership identified the following priorities.

Paine College will Address Health Issues in our Community
With the growing need for information regarding health in the local community, Paine College has made a concerted effort to partner with local entities to address many of the contemporary health and wellness-related issues that face this community. These initiatives include discussions, classes, and seminars that offer an outreached hand to the needs of our great city.

We held events at the HEAL (Health, Education, Activities and Learning) Complex that educate the community-at-large, from the Hate Crimes forum that brought knowledge and awareness of crimes involving hatred and prejudice to our exciting new Summer Series that incorporates Art, Movies, Fitness and Dance for youth, as well as fitness and a book club for adults. All of these events are absolutely free for the community to attend.

Paine College will become a Smoke Free Campus
The campus of Paine College will be a smoke free environment to further the institution's effort in promoting a healthier living environment for students and working environment for faculty and staff.  As of July 1, 2014, Paine College will become a smoke free campus. No tobacco related products will be allowed on campus. Paine College now joins more than 1,300 college and university campuses who have adopted a smoke free policy since 2009.

According to the CDC, cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths coming from secondhand smoke. Paine College is committed to advocating healthy lifestyles and this is a great step in that direction.

Paine College will Maintain a High Level of Security
The leadership of the institution reviewed security policies and practices, and looked at ways to strengthen and maintain a high level of safety on and around the campus. As of July 1, 2014, visible identification will be required for all individuals who enter the campus. All Paine College faculty, staff, and students will be required to wear their Paine College ID exposed and visitors to the campus will be required to acquire and wear a visitors badge while on campus.

Additional police officers have been added to Paine College's safety department and a 24-hour security presence will remain in effect at all vehicle-accessed entrances.  Additional surveillance cameras have been put in strategic places on campus. The Paine College Police Department has the ability to communicate directly with Richmond County Law Enforcement using special communications equipment. The campus leadership will continue to monitor these measures and make adjustments as needed. With these additional systems in place, it is important to ensure that Paine College remains a safe learning and living environment.

Paine College will Restructure Operations
Paine College's administration conducted a campus-wide review of the operations and practices of the Institution. Adjustments are being put in place for better efficiencies and consolidation of services as a part of the restructuring process. The administration will implement the restructuring strategies over the next 120 days which we expect to save the College $2.4 million over the next fiscal year. This will ensure that the College runs a system that is cost effective while taking advantage of opportunities to grow the Institution.

Over the last two years, we have worked with the U.S. Department of Education to provide them with evidence that Paine College is in compliance with their regulations. The regional accrediting body for Paine College is aware of this work. As we work to demonstrate the efficiency of the organization and implement new internal controls, we look forward to welcoming a great freshman class, while providing a world class education for returning students.

Our Deon Guillory was at the press conference and he will have more on the changes and initiatives during our Monday evening newscasts.
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