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Offices keep ETSU safe, beautiful

By Elizabeth Saulsbury
On January 26, 2014

The East Tennessee State University Office of Health and Safety and Department of Sustainability work together to keep the university healthy and promote activities that are ecologically friendly.
Daniel O'Brien, director of the environmental health and safety office at ETSU, said that the office  investigates indoor air quality, manages chemicals and biohazards and operates many safety modules.
"We're pretty much responsible for the health and safety of the university - for making sure that we create a safe and conducive environment for learning," O'Brien said. "We're also sort of a support mechanism for emergency preparedness."
One of the health and safety office's main goals is spreading information about procedures for various emergency situations.
"Communication is our biggest issue," O'Brien said. "We have all of these safety measures in place, and people need to know what we have before something happens."
The ETSU Department of Sustainability attempts to draw student attention to environmental issues and inform them of ways in which they can make a difference.
"It has to do not only with the environment, but also people and resources," said Kathleen Moor, director of sustainability. "It has not only environmental, but also social and economic aspects."
Moore said that the sustainability department attempts to incorporate ecological thinking into as many campus events as possible.
"It all has to do with being aware of your actions," Moore said. "For example: if you're leaving a room, turn out the light. If you're throwing something away, look for a recycling bin instead of throwing it in one of the landfill bins.  Instead of driving your car, think about alternative transportation to or around campus; like walking, riding the BucShot, or renting a bike."
O'Brien invites students to visit for more information about what they should do when faced with emergency situations, such as fires, chemical accidents, severe storms and active shooters.
"We really just need to get students to prepare for themselves and realize how important being prepared is," O'Brien said. "With all the things that have been happening recently in schools across the country, it's especially important."

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