Editorial: Are we safe?

By defaultuser
October 11, 2007

Violence can occur anywhere, on any campus, at a major university with 50,000 people, or a small college with only 200 people. Anything can happen.

The most quiet, laid-back person whom you never thought opened their mouth could be the person who engages in an act of violence. It could happen to an individual person, or a group of people; it has no boundaries.

No one at Delaware State ever believed there could be a shooting on their campus; nor did anyone at Cabrini believe that a stabbing could occur.

Who would have imagined that one normal Monday morning at Virginia Tech, could have led to the biggest shooting massacre in United States school history?

An act of violence sends shock waves through a campus community. Students and faculty all react differently. Some people shut down in a time of crisis and keep to themselves while other people look towards others for support and the larger community. Even some, like Virginia Tech’s editor in chief of the Collegiate Times, managed to put out a newspaper everyday after the massacre happened. Out of a large staff, only about five to 10 people felt they could handle the situation and wrote stories all night long.

While everyone reacts differently, one question runs through everyone’s mind: Are we safe?

As a result of campus violence across the nation, schools are taking initiative to prevent massacres like Virginia Tech happening on their campus by developing college emergency response plans.

Different techniques, such as sending out mass text messages to all students and faculty like Ohio State does, is a good way to reach all students in a time of emergency. Added public safety, more lighted areas around campus and alert systems are great ways to lower the chances of violence on campus. We’re glad that Cabrini is starting to implement these points into our college.

Could Cabrini handle crisis? Is there a plan? If there is a plan, is it adequate enough to take charge of the situation? Would the counseling center know how to handle a situation like this, and have enough people at the same time. Do professors know the correct steps in going about how to handle a situation with a student who is writing “off” essays? Without the correct training, how would any professor or staff member know how to report something so serious?

In the process of coming up with new security measures around campus, public safety should make an emergency lockdown procedure. After 9/11 happened, all schools went through the specific details that would occur if another situation such as 9/11 would happen. Cabrini should have a plan, written out and practiced by all students so they know what would happen in case of an emergency.

While college officials are focusing on an emergency crisis plan, students can play a part in preventing violence on their campus. It’s more than just having a plan, it comes down to everyday interactions between students, friends and faculty; saying hello to someone as you pass them by, paying attention to friends personal lives and making sure they okay can make a safer campus; negative interactions between students can result in adverse reactions.

There are no guarantees to your personal safety, so people need to be smart and make the right decisions.

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