By Laura Jean Null
As I write this, I write this for one purpose, and one purpose only.
To specifically address certain aspects of why ESU is not prepared if there was ever an active shooter.
For safety purposes, I will not name specific buildings, class rooms etc.
However, I will share what further actions our campus needs to do, to prevent and be prepared in case a horrible event like this was ever to occur on our very own turf.
The first item on the agenda is to fix the classroom doors.
In some of the university buildings, the doors open from the outside.
Along with that, they cannot even be locked from the inside.
Let me explain how this architecture design is flawed.
If there was say, an active shooter on campus and the steps you follow flee, if you cannot flee hide, and if you have no other choices, fight for your life.
Say you are in the situation where fleeing is no longer an option.
Then, you must hide out.
You cannot lock the door and even if you barricade the door with everything in the classroom you have, the door does no use when it opens from the outside.
Thus, here’s what can happen.
The University can redo all the doors in these buildings or they can purchase something like the Barracuda Lock-Device to fit under the door and on the top door spring.
This will keep it locked and sealed in case of an active shooter.
Along with that, classroom doors have a small window.
Just a simple curtain rod and pull-down curtain would help with that ‘hiding factor.’
Secondly, some classrooms on campus have major window issues.
Either the room is located on a low level and the windows are in an obstructed, awkwardly place.
Here, only half the window can be used, or there are no windows in the classroom at all.
Either add more windows or add more security.
Which leads me to my third and fourth points.
If buildings and classrooms don’t have them already, add guns,weapon scanners and sensors.
Also, have more security or officers roaming the campus buildings.
Fifth, the school needs loud speakers activated and connected through each building.
This will notify students and faculty members in case of an emergency where an active shooter is.
I understand ESU has an app and text alert system, but it is flawed because not everyone has it.
The major lecture halls do not have Wi-Fi or data services which defeats the whole purpose of getting safety alerts from your phone.
Sixth, ESU should recommend for professors to do a self-defense course that prepares them for an active shooter.
From what I have heard already on campus, some professors are participating in this course.
There, they shoot with air bullets and get chased by an active shooter to put them in the kind of mental state they would be in if this happened.
Preparation is key.
Lastly, we need to not just communicate this verbally, but physically too.
For instance, we should practice what ESU would do in a school shooter scenario.
As a campus, we learn what to do freshman year sitting through a class on the flee, hide, fight actions to take, but we don’t practice it.
For a fire we are prepared because we have fire drills.
When a smoke alarm goes off, we know to evacuate calmly and quickly to a safe location.
The point I am making is, as a campus, we need to be physically prepared for this.
The world isn’t the same as it used to be and it would be a tragedy for this to happen again at any college, especially our college.
It’s better to be safe than sorry.
I guarantee every massacre that’s happened within the last 15 years people have thought it would never happen to them, until it did.
Let’s not have ESU be another statistic.
Let us think for the future and the safety of our campus community.
I ask the executive boards, administrations, President and Vice President, to please put in the funding to make these changes as quick as possible.
In article Campus Safety, a study was done to show shootings on campus.
It stated, conducted by the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, looked at 190 incidents where at least one person was shot at 142 colleges from the 2001-2002 school year to the 2015-2016 school year.
It’s no longer a rare incident, sadly college shootings are becoming apart of a normal occurrence in the news and it needs to be prevented.
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