Group studies M.U.M. safety policy

A Maharishi University of Management committee charged with evaluating the college’s campus safety policies will likely release a public report in the next few months, M.U.M. executive vice president Craig Pearson said Thursday.

The nine-member committee, formed after the March 1 murder of freshman Levi Butler in the university dining hall, has been meeting approximately twice a week since early April. It includes university administrators, an M.U.M. student, a local mental health professional and a Fairfield police officer.

Pearson said the group has been looking at additional preventive measures to enhance safety and avert dangers on campus.

“As a group, we’re looking at every aspect of safety and security on campus,” Pearson said — including not just violent crimes, but also weather safety, traffic safety and so on.

“We’ve decided to give everything a fresh look with the expertise we’ve pulled together in this group,” he said.

The committee also has been contacting directors of security at other colleges to discuss their campus safety policies.

In addition to Pearson, the committee includes:

– Robert Keith Wallace, a university trustee and its first president.

– Lt. Julie Harvey of the Fairfield Police Department.

– David Streid, M.U.M.’s chief administrative officer.

– Chris von Stade, director of ResCare Inc., which provides mental health services in Jefferson County and surrounding areas. Von Stade led a number of crisis intervention stress debriefing sessions to assist university students, faculty and staff after the March 1 murder.

– James Bedinger, M.U.M.’s director of campus safety and facilities maintenance.

– Richard Neate, director of admissions.

– Beth Kleinman, a student in the master of business administration program.

– Bill Goldstein, the university’s legal counsel.

Pearson said the committee will make its recommendations to Goldstein, who will present them to university president Bevan Morris and the board of trustees for final approval. A public report will then be issued.

Former student Shuvender Sem has been charged with first-degree homicide in connection with Butler’s death. Sem pleaded not guilty May 4 in Iowa District Court for Jefferson County and a trial is scheduled for June 22.

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