A Message from the President

Protecting Our Community

University shared governance leadership remains vigilant in assessing the state of our safety measures. Learn how we're working to protect the Bowie State community

October 13, 2023

Bowie State University Enhanced and Existing Safety Measures

We have taken this week since the Community Conversation last Monday to listen to our campus constituent groups of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and parents. Addressing safety on the Bowie State University campus remains paramount in our planning efforts as we resume classes on Monday, October 16. I want to assure you that the university has reviewed our existing safety measures and implemented adjustments to heighten the presence of security personnel and improve our security systems. Our top priority is to create an environment where we all feel safe while preserving the sense of a welcoming community.

Enhanced Safety Measures

Starting this weekend, please expect an increased presence of police and security officers with support from local police agencies and security services. BSU police officers will be patrolling campus grounds and buildings. Surveillance of campus entrances has been enhanced, so please be aware of the following changes when accessing the campus.

Gate Access via Loop Rd - Guard House Entry

  • Staffed 24 hours by armed security with license plate readers scanning all cars
  • Gate closes at 5 pm daily (changed from 11 pm) with a Bulldog card required for entry or driver’s license for non-BSU persons.

Gate Access via Loop Rd at MARC Station and Henry Circle

  • Staffed 24 hours by armed security to monitor campus entries
  • Gate near MARC Station closes at 5 pm (change from 6 pm)
  • Gate at Henry Circle remains open until 11 pm to allow access to Metro Buses and university shuttles

Existing Electronic Safety Systems

The university has been vigilant with ongoing efforts to upgrade existing electronic systems to support safety and security. Some projects have been completed, and others are in the process of being upgraded and enhanced.

  • The Bowie Electronic Emergency System (BEES) has been updated to now include all current students, faculty and staff using information in the student or employee record. Additionally, the registration will not expire as long as you are at the university.
  • Enhanced surveillance camera system with facial recognition is in place at all campus entry points, building entrances and other high traffic indoor and outdoor locations. Other locations are planned.
  • Nineteen emergency blue light phones are installed throughout the campus to enable immediate connection to campus police.
  • Installation of automatic building locks equipped with card reader access has been completed for academic classroom buildings, the library and Henry Administration. Other buildings are in process.
  • Installation of automatic locks with card reader access has begun to secure classrooms.

Safety Measures Under Consideration

Numerous measures are under consideration to improve campus safety and threat preparedness.  Our Office of Campus Safety will expand community and residence hall safety talks and training programs. Other projects being evaluated include:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Weapons Detection System
  • Assessment of enhanced perimeter fencing to control access points onto the campus
  • Assessment of ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection system for implementation
  • Assessment of metal detectors in residential housing
  • Upgrade of all campus exterior lighting to LED
  • Additional license plate readers throughout campus
  • Active Shooter Attack Prevention and Preparedness training for faculty, staff and students.

We must all remember that everyone has a role to play in keeping our campus safe. Immediately report any suspicious activity to Campus Police at 301-860-4040 or activate Blue Light phones for immediate contact with BSU Police. Wear your Bulldog Card when on campus to be easily identified as a member of our community. Please assure that you are signed up for the BEES Alert at https://bowiestate.info/bees

I want to thank the staff from Counseling Services and all those who have worked to provide support to help our campus deal with the emotional and mental anxiety caused by this disruption of our campus. We know that many people may continue to be impacted, and I encourage you to reach out to take advantage of the available resources. We must give each other grace, as healing is a process that is different for everyone.

Finally, we are committed to maintaining transparency in responding to the questions and concerns of our community members.  Responses to the collective questions posed by virtual viewers of our Community Conversation on October 9 have been posted at this link.

Together we remain Bowie Bold!