LETTER: Mason Gross classes still set high bar for safety protocols

To the Editor:

In response to Lucye Millerand’s commentary in the Sept. 7, 2016, issue of The Daily Targum, “High Safety Standards Must Be Maintained,” we would like to make it clear that student safety has always been our highest priority.

At the Mason Gross School, we have worked diligently to put sound safety protocols into place, especially in areas where power tools are used. These protocols have been developed in conjunction with Rutgers Environmental Health and Safety. We regularly review and refine our safety protocols to make certain they are up-to-date and effective. Students are given instruction in the safe use of power tools, and all students must take this instruction before they can use the tools.

In the case at hand, prior to moving to a part-time sculpture coordinator at Livingston Arts Building (LAB), the chair and members of the sculpture faculty met with leadership at Rutgers Environmental Health and Safety to develop a plan that would ensure the safety and oversight of students and shop equipment. This new system does not compromise or diminish student oversight. On the contrary, the system allows the sculpture coordinator to focus exclusively on maintaining facilities and machinery and training and supervising graduate students to act as monitors. This group of trained monitors will be on hand to concentrate solely on our students in the facility.

This system of oversight has worked well, and it is noteworthy that it is also in place at peer institutions.

George B. Stauffer is dean in the Mason Gross School of Arts and Gerry Beegan is chair of the Department of Visual Arts.

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