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Ohio State University president doesn’t mention safety in university address

President Johnson talked about accomplishments ranging from a student debt program to mental health, but there was no mention of university safety.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State University President Kristina Johnson gave her State of the University speech on Thursday. She talked about the Intel project, debt-free education, as well as student mental health, but didn't talk about campus safety.

Buckeyes for a Safe Ohio State, a parent group that has been very vocal about their concern for campus safety, sent a statement to 10TV saying, “[President Johnson] clearly doesn't care about safety given that she didn't say a word.”

10TV asked to speak with President Johnson about why she chose not to mention safety in her 38-page address. A spokesperson sent us a statement saying:

"The health and safety of our university community is President Johnson's no. 1 priority - which she has reiterated repeatedly and demonstrates consistently with her actions. President Johnson devotes a weekly address to update students, faculty and staff on the latest safety enhancements, security information and university resources."

The statement also reiterated the university's financial commitment to safety, with an additional $20 million to campus safety in the next decade, making the total budget more than $35 million a year.

On and off-campus, the university has added security lights, cameras at parking garages, safe rides for students and a block watch program to help curb crime.

But two students told 10TV they still don't feel safe on or off-campus.

“We did have an incident where a guy followed me home and tried to break into our house and that was traumatizing and makes me really scared to even go to my house during the day now,” said Caitlyn Cunningham, who lives off-campus.

“A lot of people don't feel safe walking off-campus anytime it's dark out. I certainly don't feel safe. I carry pepper spray with me,” said Brieanny Key, who lives on campus.

The university says it closely tracks the number of aggravated assaults as well as robberies of both places and people. They say they've been told by Columbus Police that numbers are down significantly since the fall of 2021.

You can look at the Ohio State community crime map here.

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