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Oct 22
Ohio State News Alert: University supports expanded safety resources

The Ohio State University continues to encourage students, faculty and staff to take advantage of an array of safety learning opportunities.

In a new update to the university community, President Kristina M. Johnson said safety is a community issue that requires a holistic approach. One tool in that approach is the relaunched Community Police Academy. The program was paused last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The academy is run by the Ohio State University Police Division (OSUPD) and is a four-week program designed to give community members a better idea of what it’s like to protect and serve on campus. It also offers university police valuable opportunities to learn first-hand about subjects and issues that matter to students, faculty and staff.

The program launched this week and runs each Wednesday through Nov. 10. There are a few spaces left and community members interested in joining the program can still sign up. It’s free and open to students, faculty and staff.

OSUPD relaunched the popular Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) program. These three-hour self-defense classes are led by officers who are certified RAD instructors. The comprehensive, women-only course begins with awareness education, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance, and progresses to the basics of hands-on defense training. 

Current RAD classes are booked – however, many of the techniques are demonstrated in the university’s Safety Spotlight Series. Half of the videos detail the self-defense tips taught in RAD, and the Stay Safe, Buckeyes safety class also has a section focused on self-defense lessons.

 This weekend, students are urged to respect their neighbors and neighborhood. Those who attend or host a party are asked to keep their events under control, make sure it doesn’t get too loud and clean up their property when finished. If safety becomes an issue, people can ask the police for help. The university is reminding the community that property destruction is dangerous and illegal and will not be tolerated.

https://news.osu.edu/ohio-state-news-alert-university-supports-expanded-safety-resources/ 

Ohio State News

Oct 19
Nearly 90% of Ohio State community is vaccinated

More than 93,600 Ohio State students, faculty and staff have received a COVID-19 vaccine, supporting a university-wide effort to protect the health and safety of its campuses and communities.

In all, more than 89.8% of Ohio State community members have received a COVID-19 vaccine to date. On the Columbus campus, more than 90% of students have received at least one dose.

https://news.osu.edu/nearly-90-of-ohio-state-community-is-vaccinated/

Ohio State News

Oct. 18, 2021

Oct 01
The Ohio State University continues to boost safety and security resources for the university community

The Ohio State University continues to boost safety and security resources for the university communityThis weekend Ohio State is adding additional mobile lights and cameras throughout the University District, with a concentration of lights and cameras in and around Indianola and Chittenden avenues. Last week, President Kristina M. Johnson announced an additional $2 million per year over the next decade to enhance safety and security on and around campus.

The additional investment is expected to be at least $20 million, and the total safety and security budget for the university and medical center will grow to nearly $35 million annually.

More resources are already being deployed:
      • Additional private security patrols are working throughout the University District.
      • Lyft Ride Smart is available from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., and now includes the Short North Area along High Street.
      • Personal safety devices are available for pick up today on the South Oval from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. or students can reserve their devices to pick up from the Ohio Union by registering for a pickup time online
      • Stay Safe, Buckeyes is an online safety class available via BuckeyeLearn and on YouTube.
The additional funding and resources are part of a continuing effort to enhance safety in the university community. Visit the Department of Public Safety website for a comprehensive set of safety resources available at Ohio State.

Aug 25
Ohio State announces vaccination requirement

Ohio State News

The rising prevalence of the more transmissible Delta variant is fueling the resurgence of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations – including in young and otherwise healthy unvaccinated people. Central, southern and southeastern Ohio have now recorded the highest number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients since January. Further, the number of hospitalized patients in these areas of the state rose an alarming 448% between mid-July and mid-August.

Throughout the pandemic, the university has taken measures to help keep our Ohio State community safe and healthy. With Monday's news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Ohio State will now require every student, faculty and staff member to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

https://news.osu.edu/ohio-state-announces-vaccination-requirement/

Aug 11
Ohio State announces new technologies in use at Ohio Stadium this season

The 2021 Ohio State University football season will feature a number of significant changes driven by new technologies, improved efficiencies, safety measures and construction projects.The Department of Athletics has a new official Ohio State Buckeyes app that fans are encouraged to download – free – for not only season ticket and parking access, but also game day info, team stats, rosters and more. In addition: 

  •  attending games at Ohio Stadium will need to be aware of some road restrictions. 
  • All game tickets will be accessible via mobile devices. 
  • Access to parking lots will be via mobile passes, and public lots will be cashless operations. 
  • Everyone will pass through a metal detector upon entry to Ohio Stadium. 
  • Fans will scan their own ticket into the game at a pedestal ticket scanner. 

Here’s a closer look at the changes and technologies that will be in place for games this season. 

New Ohio State Buckeyes app

The best way to access season tickets and parking passes is through the Ohio State Buckeyes app. The Department of Athletics is rolling out a new official app that is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. For those fans who already have the Ohio State Buckeyes app, this new update is available now in the Apple and Google Play app stores. To download the app for the first time, visit the Apple App Store or Google Play, or search “Ohio State Buckeyes” in your device’s app store.

The official Ohio State Buckeyes app will feature mobile ticket management, concessions ordering, venue mapping and free live audio of the game along with numerous other options. For more app info: https://go.osu.edu/new_ath_app 

Traffic and shuttles

Ohio State continues to invest in the future of teaching, research and patient care through active construction projects that will change the way many fans enter and exit campus on game day. All fans should plan ahead, arrive early and allow additional time to get inside the stadium.

  • Fans parking and riding from west campus will now board shuttles at Carmack 1 – the far eastern parking lot – rather than the Mount Hall Loop, which is under construction. Shuttles will drop off at the Herrick Drive Transit Hub, located south of Ohio Stadium, rather than the Sisson Lot. At the conclusion of the game, fans can board the shuttles at the Herrick Drive Transit Hub for the return trip to Carmack 1.
  • John Herrick Drive, including the Herrick Bridge and Tharpe Street, will be closed to the public, limiting access to parking. Please seek alternative routes.
  • Woody Hayes Drive will be closed to the public between John Herrick Drive and Kenny Road. Fans trying to access west campus or the Ag Lot parking should seek alternative routes along Lane Avenue and Fyffe Road. 
  • COTA will not run transit service this season from the Fairgrounds or Crosswoods Park. 
  • Fans will have access to COTA’s fixed-route bus service on game day. Lines 1, 2, 8, 22, 31 and 102 all serve the Ohio State campus area and most provide service every 15 to 30 minutes. 

Fans are encouraged to visit www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/gameday for all game day information, including traffic maps and updates. 

Game tickets

Fans will no longer receive their game tickets in the mail and instead will display their tickets on their mobile device. Mobile tickets offer contactless entry into Ohio Stadium, and other athletics venues, along with greater convenience and safety. Fans can access their tickets online, transfer to family and friends, utilize Buckeyes TicketExchange or donate tickets to charity. Mobile tickets will be available for fans to access as soon as they have selected their seats for the 2021 season and are paid in full. Options for fans without smart phones will be forthcoming.

More information on accessing and managing mobile tickets can be found by visiting Ohio State’s Digital Ticketing Guide.

Parking

All parking will be cashless this year and passes will be on fans’ mobile devices. Individuals with season parking permits will access their passes via their Ohio State Buckeyes account alongside their game tickets. Fans will scan the QR code on their mobile device upon entry to the parking lot. 

Credit cards only will be accepted at all public parking locations. Apple Pay and Google Pay will not be accepted. The price to park is $20.

Cashless operations 

Cashless operations will be utilized throughout Ohio Stadium this year, including for program sales, concessions, ticket office transactions and merchandise. Fans will be able to make purchases with Apple Pay/Google Pay or a credit or debit card. Cash will not be accepted. 

Ticket pedestals

All gates into Ohio Stadium will have ticket pedestals – there will be 120 such pedestals in the stadium –that fans will use to scan their ticket from their own mobile device. 

Metal detectors 

All Ohio Stadium entry gates will be equipped with the latest technology in walk-through metal detectors that guests will need to pass through for entry. Fans will not need to empty their pockets unless instructed by stadium security. The goal is for a frictionless entry into Ohio Stadium. 

No bag policy

Ohio State will continue its no bag policies at Ohio Stadium and all athletic department venues. Small bags, no larger than 5x8x1 inches will be permitted. Guests with medical or child care needs will be permitted to carry one bag, no larger than 14x14x4 inches, into the stadium through one of these two locations: the Band Center entrance between Gates 10 and 12, or the Press Entrance between the Huntington Club and Gate 23.

Medical Center restricted to patients’ needs

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center will be restricted to only patients, visitors, faculty and staff on game days. It can no longer be a “cut through” for fans walking to Ohio Stadium. If you are heading to the game, please be considerate of our patients and do not use the hospital as a cut-through.

Mask policies

Ohio State University updated its mask protocols last week to enhance the health and safety of the campus community and to reflect updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Students, faculty, staff and visitors to all Ohio State campuses and medical facilities are required to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are required outdoors for unvaccinated individuals when they cannot maintain physical distancing. Vaccinated people are not required to mask outdoors. 

Football game day mask policies include: 

Skull Session – All staff and guests will be required to wear masks; the Marching Band and the football team will wear masks. 

French Field House – All events will require masks for all staff and guests. 

Ohio Stadium – Masks will be required in all interior public spaces, which includes the Huntington Club, elevators, first aid rooms, restrooms and press box. Masks will not be required for outdoor public spaces, which include the entry gates, concourses, concession stands and the seating bowl. 

Public transportation – Masks will continue to be required for all campus public transportation, including game day ADA and west campus shuttles. 

Ohio State encourages everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. 

Additional 2021 game day notes: 

  • The Ohio State University Marching Band’s skull session will return to St. John Arena.
  • The “Tailgate Guys” will now be located at the northeast corner of Lane Avenue and Fred Taylor Drive. 
  • Fan Fest, located along the lawn in front of St. John Arena and the ROTC building, will return this season with expanded offerings, including alcohol sales.

Aug 06
Ohio State graduates and families to celebrate weekend of achievement

Separate ceremonies will honor Class of 2020. Summer 2021 graduates

Thousands of students, families and friends will have a chance to celebrate academic success at The Ohio State University this weekend.

Ohio State will host ceremonies to honor all members of the Class of 2020 and the graduates of the 2021 summer semester. The 2020 Graduate Celebration will be held from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 7, at Ohio Stadium. Summer commencement is at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 8, in its traditional location, the Schottenstein Center. 

President Kristina M. Johnson will preside over both ceremonies. Ohio State head football coach Ryan Day and his wife, Nina, will serve as the speakers for the graduation celebration. Bruce A. McPheron, professor of entomology, Dean’s Chair of CFAES International Programs and former executive vice president and provost, will address summer 2021 graduates. David D. Awschalom, director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange which recently partnered with Ohio State on quantum research, will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree. Carol L. Newcomb and William J. Shkurti will receive the university’s Distinguished Service Award.

The university will confer 1,788 degrees and certificates during summer commencement. Ohio State previously honored the Class of 2020 in virtual ceremonies in MayAugust and December 2020.

2020 graduate celebration

The event is a celebration of the 2020 graduates’ accomplishments in the face of the pandemic’s challenges. Graduates can wear commencement regalia or their favorite Buckeye attire. Tickets are not required, though graduates are asked to RSVP. Friends and family are encouraged to attend.

For those unable to attend in person, the ceremonies will be livestreamed.

Consistent with university mask guidance announced on Aug. 2, students, faculty, staff and visitors are required to wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. Masks continue to be required outdoors for unvaccinated individuals when they cannot maintain physical distancing. Vaccinated people are not required to mask outdoors.

To ensure the safety of all graduates and their guests, heightened security measures will be in effect. Ohio Stadium opens at 6:30 p.m. The following stadium gates will be open to the public: North Rotunda; Gates 7, 9 and 11 on the West side; Gates 8, 12 and 14 on the East side. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Visit the commencement website for more information on the 2020 celebration.

Summer Commencement 2021

Participation in the ceremony is reserved for graduates of summer term only. Tickets are not required for guests of the summer commencement ceremony.

All graduates must wear proper academic regalia to participate in the commencement ceremony. Graduates, their guests and participants in the Schottenstein Center are required to wear a mask, regardless of their vaccination status. 

For those unable to attend in person, the ceremonies will be livestreamed. A replay of highlights will air Monday at 7 p.m. on WOSU.

The Schottenstein Center opens at 12 p.m. on commencement day. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Visit the commencement website for more on the summer 2021 commencement.

Written By
Chris Booker
Ohio State News
booker.9osu.edu
614.292.7276

Jul 28
Ohio State updates autumn semester reactivation plans

President Kristina M. Johnson sent the following email to The Ohio State University community Tuesday, July 27, 2021.

In about a month, we’ll be together for the start of the academic year, and I’m thrilled just thinking about the Buckeye traditions that we all love.

This robust, in-person experience can happen because of the success of free, effective COVID-19 vaccines. Already, more than 70% of returning students, faculty and staff have completed their vaccinations, a rate that outpaces the rest of the state.

Today, I’m writing to share updates on our autumn semester planning so that you’re prepared for all that’s to come.

Reporting requirement and vaccine prizes

While our vaccination rate is now more than 70%, we know there are vaccinated individuals who aren’t counted in our total because they haven’t reported their status.

To make informed decisions related to COVID-19 and further enable contact tracing, we are requiring everyone to report whether or not they have been vaccinated by Thursday, August 5.

Your personal health information will not be shared publicly or directly with instructors, managers or leaders.

We strongly encourage everyone who can be vaccinated to have their shots. To promote increased vaccination, we will award up to $50,000 in gift cards, football tickets and parking passes to vaccinated students, faculty and staff, starting next month.

To win prizes, students, faculty and staff need to take three steps – including filling out the contest entry form. More details are available on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.

Act now! Those who enter by August 8 will have more chances to win, since they will be eligible for each of the four drawings.

Testing, mask requirements and other health and safety protocols

Testing will continue to be an integral part of our safety protocols as students return to campus this fall. By identifying COVID-19 cases early, we can take action to limit the spread of the virus.

  • Pre-arrival testing: All students living in university-managed housing on the Columbus campus and regional campuses as well as sorority and fraternity members on the Columbus campus will need to complete an at-home COVID-19 test within seven days before they return to Ohio State. Additional details about this process will be shared directly from the Office of Student Life.

  • Move-in testing: All Columbus campus students who will be on campus for any reason and all residential students on the regional campuses will be required to test for COVID-19 when they arrive. Until students receive a negative test result, they should wear a mask.

  • Weekly surveillance testing: Currently, unvaccinated students — including all students on the Columbus campus and regional campus students who live in university housing — will be required to test weekly as the academic year begins. Students who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and reported their status to the university will not have to test. We will continue to monitor the impacts of variants of concern and may need to adjust the testing requirements for vaccinated students as new information is available. Once House Bill 244 goes into effect on October 14, we will test vaccinated and unvaccinated students with the same protocols.

  • Mask requirements: For people who are fully vaccinated, masks are not required on Ohio State’s campuses except for on public transportation, in Wexner Medical Center and Student Health facilities, and in colleges and units with public-facing clinical operations. Individuals who are not vaccinated are required to continue wearing masks indoors and to maintain physical distancing when possible. These measures are in place to protect you.

  • Quarantine and isolation housing: Given that broad access to vaccines is available, on-campus quarantine and isolation housing will be limited this year and cannot be guaranteed at any time. All students should have individual plans for isolation and quarantine housing in the event they are exposed or have a positive COVID-19 test.

As we have throughout the pandemic, we will adjust our testing, masking and other health protocols as appropriate and will share updates with you as we have them. We will also continue to monitor guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state of Ohio and local health authorities as well as the impacts of the Delta variant to inform our decisions.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone on campus next month and returning to our Buckeye traditions.

Sincerely yours,

Kristina M. Johnson, PhD
President


Jul 27
Eminence Fellows Program Application Open

​The University Honors & Scholars Center at The Ohio State University is pleased to announce that the Eminence Fellows Program and Scholarship application for 2022 is now open. The deadline to apply is November 15, 2021. 

The Eminence Fellows Program supports students with a full cost-of-attendance scholarship and is awarded to approximately 25 incoming, first year students with demonstrated commitment to academics, service, community engagement, and leadership. Fellows are selected based on outstanding potential and all prospective majors are encouraged to apply. Fellows live and work in a close-knit, inclusive community, pursuing a rigorous honors curriculum which includes the completion of an honors thesis. Additionally, Fellows develop a sustainable and collaborative community service project designed to address community issues of interest. Past projects have addressed infant mortality, human trafficking, and food insecurity, to name a few. 

For more information on the Eminence Fellows Program and for application details, visit honors-scholars.osu.edu/honors/eminence/apply

Jul 14
Ohio State, University District Organization partner to add full-time social worker to off-campus area

The Ohio State University is working with community partners to bring on a full-time social worker dedicated to helping housing-vulnerable people in the off-campus area. The hiring is one of several university initiatives designed to support the neighborhoods and residents surrounding Ohio State’s campus.

Beginning this summer, a social worker from Southeast Healthcare will work in the off-campus area, with a special emphasis on North High Street, to provide outreach and offer resources and support to people who are homeless, housing insecure, or in need of other assistance. Southeast Healthcare, based in Ohio, has a long history of helping the state’s most vulnerable populations.

While the social worker’s coverage area includes campus itself, the person will focus on the adjacent University District area.

Offering proactive social service outreach in the University District is one of the recommendations made in Ohio State’s Task Force on Community Safety and Well-Being. Since its inception in fall 2020, the task force has put forth 15 recommendations that include a variety of strategies, acknowledging that “safety” means different things to different people.

As a highly trained Licensed Independent Social Worker, the person will also supervise College of Social Work undergraduate and graduate students who are acquiring experience as part of their in-the-field training. These students will gain valuable knowledge and build connections to the community, while extending the reach and impact of the new University District social worker.

“There’s a strong need for a dedicated professional to operate in the University District, and I’m thrilled that we can help meet it,” said College of Social Work Dean Tom Gregoire. “Our students will benefit greatly from this initiative and get a personal view of the issues that can lead to housing vulnerability.”

Once established, the social worker will work with community and university partners, including local businesses, law enforcement and students, staff and faculty, to get individuals help and assist with obtaining shelter and permanent supportive housing, counseling and treatment services. The social worker will make public their contact information to more easily connect with community members who may see someone who could use their services.

Ohio State continues to work to build a more empathetic community in the University District. Since February, for example, the Office of Student Life, through a grant from the Center for HumanKindness at the Columbus Foundation, has partnered with the College of Social Work and University District Organization to engage with people who are homeless or housing challenged in the North High Street area. Together, they’ve distributed 1,000 pairs of socks, hundreds of care bags and offered the services of a mobile health clinic operated by Southeast Healthcare. Ohio State has also partnered with the Reeb Avenue Center to distribute food vouchers and bus passes to those who need them.

The university has worked closely with the University District Organization on the new partnership. The nonprofit has helped to identify the needs of the off-campus community.

“Our partners in the University District have often asked how to best help the most vulnerable in the area,” said Matt Hansen, executive director of the University District Organization. “Dedicating a social worker to work full-time with this population is a great step toward providing people services and assistance they may need.”


Written by 

Tom Knox

Ohio State News

knox.105@osu.edu

Original Story

Jul 07
For female vampire bats, an equal chance to rule the roost

​Female vampire bats establish an egalitarian community within a roost rather than a society based on a clear hierarchy of dominance that is often seen in animal groups, a new study suggests.

Researchers observed more than 1,000 competitions for food among a colony of 33 adult female bats and juveniles living in captivity, assigning a rank to each bat based on a calculation of wins and losses in those contests.

The team found that, unlike in many mammal societies, the higher-ranking animal didn’t necessarily win every bout over food, and there was a randomness to the ranking order – no specific quality they measured gave a bat a better chance at dominance, so any adult female had an equal opportunity to rank very high or very low on a scale of dominance in the roost.

Traditionally, research on group-living animals – especially primates – in the wild has focused on how a dominance structure factors into survival, longevity and healthy offspring, and only later considered the importance of friendship in those same communities.

Senior study author Gerald Carter has worked in reverse order. His research on highly social female vampire bats, whose behaviors resemble what’s been observed in some primate groups, has focused on cooperation, finding that vampire bats make “friends” through a gradual buildup of trust and show signs of maintaining those friendships in the wild.

“We realized we don’t know anything about dominance among female vampire bats, so this is a first step in the direction of trying to identify how similar they are to primates in this way,” said Carter, assistant professor of evolution, ecology and organismal biology at The Ohio State University. “We can say quite clearly that they’re definitely not like some of the well-studied primates. They don’t have a very clear social rank that they’re constantly enforcing.”

The study is published today (July 7, 2021) in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

The research team video-recorded 1,023 competitive interactions concerning food over three months in a captive colony of common vampire bats at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama. The colony consisted of 24 adult females captured from two distant sites as well as nine young bats – four males and five females.

Winners and losers were identified from five types of events at the blood-meal feeders: displacement of a feeding bat by an intruding bat with or without physical contact; a feeding bat’s maintenance of its position following an approach by another bat, with or without contact; and a nearby bat waiting to eat until after a feeding bat leaves the feeder.

Researchers assigned social rank to individual bats based on wins and losses and found widespread variability in adult female bat rankings, with essentially no predictors for how these community arrangements played out. No associations were found between body size, age and reproductive status and dominance ranking, and common vampire bat behaviors of grooming and sharing food were not associated with social rank. Being related to each other had no effect. The only possible predictor detected, when male juveniles were excluded, was smaller forearms in the more dominant adult females.

When compared to data that exists on communities of female yellow baboons and female long-tailed macaques, the vampire bats were also far less likely to show a consistent pattern of wins by the more dominant community members.

“Basically, with these primates, almost 100% of the time the dominant individual wins,” Carter said. “With vampire bats, even when you have two individuals that are 10 rankings apart, the more dominant individual is not necessarily displacing the other one.”

The findings suggested that young males are subordinate to adult females, and the same is likely to be true for adult males because they are smaller than female vampire bats. Previous research has shown that male vampire bats do compete with each other and fight – and within a colony, males tend to focus on establishing territory rather than carrying on social relationships.

A comparison of group-level dominance measures between female vampire bats and 14 other documented female mammal groups – including African elephants, bison and numerous primates – placed the bats as either 12th or 15th in the overall dominance ranking, depending on the metric used.

Though the single study of animals in captivity doesn’t provide all the answers, the research does suggest vampire bats live in communities that are “more fluid and open,” Carter said. A fluid and open society is different from, but not necessarily better than, a group characterized by dominance and hierarchy, he noted. A clear power structure actually helps prevent conflict.

“In a group of animals that’s always together, it’s really important to work out who’s dominant, because when you come across food, you all come across that food together,” he said.

“With vampire bats, they have this society inside of a tree, and all of the relationships are worked out. But we think vampire bats don’t hunt as a stable group – they go out and forage, and come back together. So what that means is that they’re not always coming across a food resource together and having to decide who’s going to get access to it first.”

This work was supported by the STRI and the National Science Foundation.

Co-authors Rachel Crisp and Lauren Brent of the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom also worked on the study.


By Emily Caldwell

Ohio State News

caldwell.151@osu.edu

Original Story

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