GV competes for safer schools grant

GVL/Kevin Sielaff
Sean Diaz votes for Grand Valley to be the winner of the $200,000 to be put towards on campus security

GVL/Kevin Sielaff Sean Diaz votes for Grand Valley to be the winner of the $200,000 to be put towards on campus security

Hannah Lentz

Grand Valley State University will be competing in a competition hosted by Stanley Security for $200,000 in security updates.

The grant program is a contest through which public voting will determine the university awarded the security provisions. Eligible schools are nominated by a Chief of Police, Director of Public Safety, President, Vice President, Director or Dean for a U.S. college or university. To be eligible for voting, each nomination has to meet the requirements of the official rules.

GVSU Chief of Police Renee Freeman nominated GVSU for the “Together For Safer Schools” grant program.

“We strive for and are committed to providing a safe environment for our students, faculty, staff and all of our campus visitors,” Freeman said in her proposal. “The grant program funds would allow GVSU to upgrade existing systems and install new ones in order to keep our safety initiative moving forward.”

Students, school staff and administrators, alumni, parents and community members can vote for the school of their choice once a day. Grant winners are selected based on the number of votes their school receives.

Those wishing to vote can do so online through the use of Twitter and by texting “gvsuedu” to 334455. A vote through each of these methods counts as a single vote.

The awarded grant can be used for any Stanley Security product, technologies, solutions, services and installations. This can include video surveillance, access control, intrusion detection, system integration, fire detection and many other security related technologies.

If awarded the money, GVSU plans to upgrade existing security systems where applicable and look into improved door access and camera security on campus.

“This grant could help to offset some of these costs for the university and instate new systems which are helpful in identifying suspects in criminal instances,” said Brandon DeHaan, captain of the Grand Valley Police Department.

There are three categories for universities based on student enrollment size, so schools will be competing against each other on categories with similar student enrollment. GVSU is placed in the “Enrollment Size Category 3,” meaning that there are at least 20,000 students enrolled at the university.

Rankings for each category will be updated daily throughout the voting period. GVSU is currently ranked first, followed by the University of North Texas and the University of Texas at Arlington.

Voting will be open to the public until Feb. 13. The top two schools with the most votes in each category of the contest will receive the school security grant. There will be one grand prize winning school and one first prize winning school per each enrollment size category. Winners will be announced publicly on March 3.

Those wishing to vote can go to www.stanleysaferschools.com/Vote and search for Grand Valley State University.