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COLUMBUS, Ohio — There's a lot of excitement on The Ohio State University’s campus. New students are finding their way around, upperclassman are reconnecting with friends. Meanwhile, the university is working on protecting students in case the unthinkable happens.
As a group of cheerleaders walk campus working on a scavenger hunt — they admit safety isn't at the top of minds.
“Not every day, but it does cross my mind when something pops up on the news,” said freshman Paige Osborn.
Ohio State hasn't been immune to violent attacks on campus. In a 2016 attack, Abdul Razak Ali Artan rammed his car into a crowd of people, then took out a knife and attacked students. Thirteen people were sent to the hospital, and Artan was shot and killed by an Ohio State police officer.
“After 2016, we took a look at our response and we did a lot of things really well that day. We also identified a few things that we think we needed to improve upon,” said Robert Armstrong, Director of Emergency Management and Fire Prevention for Ohio State.
One area the university realized it could improve was adding locks to all classrooms and making them universal.
“It does give them another layer of security,” Armstrong said.
If there is an active shooter on-campus, students and instructors now have the ability to lock the door to barricade it to keep themselves safe inside the classroom.
“They realize they now have a little more control over what actions they can take if there is a secure in place order issued,” Armstrong said.