Emergency Phones Being Misused on Athens Campus

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In case of an emergency

Students at Ohio University have a direct line to campus police from any of the 81 blue-light emergency phones located across campus. But the 24-hour service is being misused and changes may be on the way.

Jeff Campbell, Ohio University’s Director of the Environmental Health and Safety, said a study by the OUPD showed that of the 5,000 emergency calls placed from the phones, none were stress related or required an immediate medical response. Apparently the phones are being used to cry wolf.

Campbell and the campus police department said these calls range from people asking where they can order pizza, to where they are on campus, to requests for phone numbers for taxis and tow-truck services.

Phone locations

While some blue-light emergency phones can be found on dormitory walls, many are on pedestals throughout campus. The pedestals are often away from buildings in areas where threatened-students may feel more vulnerable. As a result, the university is considering moving the phones to what is being called a building-based system.

“Folks are more likely to go to a building when they need help,” Campbell said

EHS Emergence Phone Plans

  • Retain blue lights on bike paths
  • Money phones to a building-based system
  • Designate blue lights in all areas of campus