Attending educational institutions in hopes of becoming something great, many young people in American may not live to see their dreams fulfilled. Sadly, the fates of these particular scholars will not be impacted by sickness or accident. Cascading away from yet another school shooting, society’s numbness to this problem proves perilous as the attacks on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Central Michigan University leaves the nation searching for answers. For Andrews students, the second tragedy induces an even stronger realisation of the world we live in. In this way, Andrews students must be active in observing and caring for one another during this time of fear and uncertainty. The following will provide insight regarding how to best react in the event of an active shooter on our Andrews campus.
What is the signal on campus for an active shooter?
AU Alert. This sentiment mirrors comments by other resident advisors, and parallels with the Andrews University handbook. It becomes imperative to enroll with the AU Alert program, which can be accessed via the Campus Safety portion of the Andrews University website, within the self-explanatory subsection: AU Alert.
If we see something suspicious, who should we tell?
Resident assistant Ben Lee (political science, sophomore) notes that for discreet tips, individuals can report to “Deans, R.A.s and Student Life” if an unconfirmed suspicion arises. These other avenues allow students to note behaviors that could potentially indicate and prevent later tragedy. However, calling Campus Safety as soon as possible is more important during an emergency, as they hold the resources, training and contacts to most quickly and safely defuse the situation.
If we hear gunshots, where is the safest place to go?
Juan Burdick (computer science, sophomore) gave a very logical and technically sound answer regarding this question. He said, “The first answer is the technically correct answer, which is that you’re supposed to go to the nearest building and get inside, and then let Campus Safety know so that they can lock down the campus. The second answer is to ideally go someplace with concrete walls and no windows, such as the basement of Nethery or the Administration building. Unless you are already at the Cafeteria/Gazebo, avoid that place because there are a lot of people and cramming them into a safe place in that building can be sketchy.”
In the event of an active shooter, students should quickly make their way to the nearest building, but should also tactically choose a building that provides cover and lacks objects that could shatter.
Thankfully, Andrews University students are surrounded by young and old leaders who continually look out for the needs of their students. However, the entire student body bears a responsibility to prevent these horrific incidents from occurring. The ostracization of individual students, a theme of these shootings, remains a very pertinent issue for all places of learning. While the actions of those who felt isolated and lashed out are by no means justified, the Andrews community should focus on helping people never reach such a state. In this way, when you encounter an individual and consider mocking some aspect of their being, refrain. From the aftermath of previous attacks, the perpetrators always show a deep distaste for the people around them. These interpersonal feuds can be traced back as a partial source for their violent actions. Furthermore, vigilance becomes required during such a state of affairs in order to prevent these atrocities. Thus, if you observe behavior that indicates the potential for hazard, call the Campus Safety number below and allow them to protect our campus family.
Campus Safety Hotline: 269-471-3321