Ohio State installs new locks to classrooms around campus

A new door handle and lock is installed on a door at Ohio State's campus. (WBNS)

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.

That helps these students focus on the reason they are here.

“I'm glad they are checking, doing rounds, making sure we are safe and that they are proactive,” said senior Olivia Adams.

“I was wasn't that worried in the first place, but knowing that makes me a lot more comfortable. It's nice knowing they are taking proactive measures,” said freshman Carly Zinnecker.

So far, they have installed about 400 locks with a little more than 50 to go.

Ohio State is also posting all Buckeye Alerts to electronic billboards across campus to make sure students get the message.