Today: May 22, 2024

Recent incidents test student awareness

John CarluccioCopy Editor

The beginning of the school year has included the severe weather that moved through the area as well as a shooting that occurred close to campus and had students asked to stay put.

No one from Southern was injured in either circumstance, however, it raises certain questions regarding student safety. I, for one, was not aware of either incident until the tornado was dumping heavy rain and the shooting had happened hours earlier.

It seems imperative that we as occupiers of campus, and for some residents of campus, remain fully aware of what is going on around us. While neither the shooting nor the tornado prompted much fear, the chaos was more in the confusion that followed.

Students who were on campus at the time were asked to stay put, and sometimes will ignore these messages if they feel the threat is not real or serious.

This can be dangerous when it comes to students going about their daily routine when there is an emergency that is occurring, especially if emergency vehicles are needed.

When or if a real emergency occurs on campus, it makes me question how students will react or their willingness to follow instructions.

The Southern Alert System informs students by sending them a text, an email, or even calling their phone directly, but some have not signed up for the notifications and could most likely miss the emails and if they’re not signed up at all, how will they know what is going on?

The text can include suspicious sightings, storm warnings and nearby shelters people can go to and more.

While many who were on campus stayed inside regarding the tornado, the shooting left me wondering if the danger could easily come to campus in the future.

Other students and myself may even be unsure of what the procedure would be if that were to happen.

We need to be more aware of not only our immediate surroundings but also the city and state we live in. For instance, knowing that severe thunderstorms that may produce a tornado most notably occur in August and September can be beneficial. It may sound like an overreaction but until the situation is happening you can never be too prepared.

As the rain began to batter the New Haven area, many students were able to take refuge on campus. The building themselves became a safe place and remained a safe place until the danger had passed.

Alerts were being sent out in real time, but primarily by email. This delay can cause confusing because sometimes the best thing to do is to remain where you are.

The more we prepare as a campus community, the better we will be able to handle future events that can occur.

I still think overall, students felt safer on campus for both events. They are around other people, and other resources that might not be available for miles.

These are a lot of “what-if” situations, but I know there is plenty of work done to ensure student safety.

Going forward, I hope that especially during these times we are learning the importance of staying informed and having a sense that we can rely on one another.

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