Lack of Emergency Procedure Awareness
Photo Courtesy: http://www.marist.edu/maristalerts/
In recent years Marist College has done a lot to increase emergency resources available to students. Marist emphasizes and encourages the use of the counseling center, and offers programs during the weekly Wednesday activity hour for rape and sexual assault survivors, or people facing issues in their lives. The Office of Security and Safety also has frequent fire drills to ensure students know what to do, and ensure alarms work properly. Even following recent fires in student houses on campus, signs were put in each kitchen that read “Keep an eye on what you fry” as a reminder to take safety precautions when cooking.
However, unfortunately, we have been experiencing an epidemic of school shootings across the nation. Though media and news outlets primarily cover high school shootings, college on- campus shootings persist.
As a sophomore, until this week, I had never heard of anything regarding the protocol situations that involve an active shooter on campus, and I am not alone. After speaking with other students on campus, I believe many students also do not know what to do if there were to be a violent situation on campus.
Prior to entering Marist my freshman year, I, as well as other incoming freshmen, had to take an online course about Title IX; where signs of abuse, classification, and resources are discussed. A bare minimum solution to the lack of knowledge of protocols could be for incoming students to watch a video explaining what to do. Marist does have a video on what to do during an active shooter situation, which can be found under the Safety and Security page on the Marist website. However, I was not made aware that this resource was available until writing this article, and based on the statistics, I don’t think I am alone.
The website also has a list of four steps that people should follow if there were to be an active shooter situation; another resource many students are likely unaware of. Ultimately, while Marist has drafted protocol and made information available for students, the school should take steps to make this information more accessible and visible to students.
I highly encourage everyone to go to the Safety and Security page on the marist.edu site and look further into how to keep yourself safe during an active shooter emergency. Here is the list Marist provides of what you should do:
If you can get out...DO
IT NOW!!! Do not hesitate!
Don’t wait for others. Have an escape route and plan in mind. Leave your belongings behind. Keep your hands visible.
Hide in an area out of
the shooter’s view. If possible, avoid trapping yourself. Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors.
Turn off the lights and be quiet.
If two or more...spread out and develop a plan.
As a last resort and
only when your life is in imminent danger. Attack aggressively...DO NOT HESITATE!!!
Attempt to incapacitate the active shooter. Throw things, yell, or use improvised weapons. DO NOT QUIT!!!
When Law Enforcement Arrives:
Remain calm and follow instructions. Raise hands and spread fingers. Avoid quick movements, pointing and yelling. Remember that they do not know who the shooter is.