The University of Findlay keeps students and faculty on campus prepared for the worst
By: Alexis Mitchell
On Valentine’s Day, 17 high school students were killed when they were gunned down at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The event has sparked many conversations across the country but safety is one of the main issues.
Most high schools and colleges have developed crisis plans to put safety protocols in place for the potential of an active shooter or attack on school grounds, including the University of Findlay.
UF campus police and security says it offers a “Run, Hide, and Fight” video for all students and faculty to watch. According Vice President of Student Affairs Dave Emsweller, this video was shown and discussed at campus faculty and staff meetings. In addition to this video there is also a University of Findlay Campus Safety web page for the emergency response section of the Universities crisis plan.
The plan goes as follows.
- Run- If you can safely evacuate the area, do so.
- Hide- If you cannot run, then your next best option is to find a safe location to hide.
- Fight- As a last resort, if you can’t run and have nowhere to hide, your last option is to fight.
Chief of Police at UF, William Spraw is also aware of this video. According to Spraw A.L.I.C.E. (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training is also a popular method taught at many schools.
A lockdown on a college campus can be difficult.
“In an elementary school or high school, this is more practical than on a college campus,” said Steven Baum, captain of police, “It’s harder to keep everyone in one area.”
If a mass shooter was to be on campus, both the professors and students have to react. Communications Professor Dr. Diana Montague said that since UF is a spread-out campus, her reaction would all depend on where she is at.
“If I were in my office I would lock my doors, turn my lights off, I would position myself away from windows,” said Dr. Montague “If I was in my classroom, I would probably have everyone go to the side where no one could see them. That’s my first instinct.”
A students’ perspective is actually not that much different from a professors.
“If there was a school shooter and I was inside a classroom, I would close the door and barrier it and get everyone to the floor and away from windows and doors where we cannot be seen,” said Adrianna Powell, a senior theater major.
Powell says despite the large area of campus to cover, security and law enforcement on campus are doing the best they can to keep everyone safe from and knowledgeable about a possible active shooter situation.
“I do think the University and Hancock County does a good job keeping us informed on situations that could be dangerous to us,” said Powell, “Inside a school there are huge ways to make improvements but on a campus like this I feel the school is doing as best as they can.”
Balm and Chief Spraw said it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and trust your gut. They explained that many times someone did not feel right, but never reported it to them. UF security says it does its best to give students and faculty the best resources in any given situation.
“The best way to try and prepare yourself is if you walk into a room or a building, familiarize yourself with the building,” said Baum. “You kind of have to preplan a little bit.”
Practicing the run, hide, and fight tactic is just one way to prepare for an active shooter. Parkland High School in Florida practiced drills, talked about what to do in that kind of situation, and 14 kids and 3 adults still died.
“The worst you can think is: it’s not going happen to me,” Baum said. “You can’t walk around being scared all the time.”
Click here to view the “Run, Hide, Fight” video: https://youtu.be/5VcSwejU2D0
Link to the full Campus Safety web page to the Emergency Response Section of the Crisis Response Plan: https://www.findlay.edu/offices/student-affairs/safety-security/Shared%20Documents/Emergency%20Procedures.pdf