Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923
By Abigail Ormiston, Staff Writer
An active shooter, defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is a person actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area with no method to their selection of victims.
Chief Mark Vitalos of campus security explained the importance of the drill. “We do these drills to educate and better prepare the campus community to deal with these situations should an emergency arise that must be dealt with immediately.”
Each residence hall was given a presentation, including the showing of an informative video that helped prepare for the drill. Students were given an opportunity to ask questions.
Vitalos recommends students and staff update their e2Campus information. Instructions and information will be sent out via the e2Campus system as much as possible. Campus police will try to post information after the drill as well.
Vitalos said that students should feel safe knowing that the college is going to be prepared for the drill. “Even though we study, live and work in a very safe environment, I would hope they feel more aware of what could occur and that they were given information to help them deal with this situations, should an emergency such as this, ever arise.”
Ellen Hill, sophomore, explained that she does feel safer knowing that everyone will know what to do in a real situation.
Hill does raise some concerns about the drill and if an event, like an active shooter, were to happen. “As an untrained civilian, even if you know what you should do, it’s hard to act on it under stress. I don’t think you can fully prepare the students and staff members for what would be going on during a real situation. Just the amount of mental stress and anxiety and fear is a lot to deal with on top of trying to remember what to do during the drill. Some people will immediately go into survival mode and keep everyone else calm, but there will be some people who aren’t prepared and never will be.”
Not only did the students have an informational meeting about the drill and how to prepare, professors and staff did as well.
Professor of Communications, Jim Brancato, Ph.D., said that because of the meeting he understands what to do in the situation of an active shooter.
Brancato said that there was really only one main concern that professors had. “Our main concern is the safety of the students. I feel responsible for any students in the room with me as an emergency, or even a drill is occurring. A few of us were concerned though, what if a problem, such as the one we are preparing for really upset a student. What would we do? I believe that I would do everything in my power to calm them down and help them feel safe.”
There was a Shelter in Place drill Tuesday, Oct. 21, from approximately 2:00 p.m. to 3 p.m. An Active Shooter drill occurred on Monday, Nov. 3, from approximately 9:40 a.m. to 10 a.m. Students looking for more information should visit the Campus Police webpage.