Recent campus shooting leaves questions, concerns
Concerns of safety and security are spreading across college campuses again in light of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. becoming the latest victim of a school shooting on Thursday.
“It’s one of the biggest challenges we face,” CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard said. “Can an institution of our size make all of its students feel safe on campus all the time?”
The Northern Illinois incident is the worst campus shooting since the Virginia Tech University killings on April 16, 2007.
Five students were killed in the Illinois attack and 16 others were wounded when the gunman opened fire in a large lecture hall in the middle of campus.
“It’s just terrible that this happens anywhere,” said Tommy Stern, a CU freshman ecology and evolutionary biology major from Chicago, Ill. “You can’t just have metal detectors in every class, you just can’t prevent it all the time.”
Hilliard said CU has approximately 1,300 students from the state of Illinois. Students who are in need of counseling are encouraged to visit the Counseling and Psychological Clinic at Wardenburg.
“We are in the process of sending out communications to them, that if they need help our counselors are standing by,” Hilliard said. “We are definitely trying to reach out to those who may be personally affected.”
Freshman pre-journalism major Luke Johnson said he feels CU does enough to make students aware of the safety precautions that are there to help them feel safe in the dorms and on campus.
“I think CU is pretty safe, they made sure we knew the safety measures that were in place during orientation,” Johnson said.
CU has one of the best text messaging alert systems in the nation with over 30 percent of students subscribing to it, Hilliard said. Text messaging is just one method of dealing with campus emergencies such as the knifing incident that occurred at the beginning of the school year.
“There’s no one single catch-all thing you can do to prevent something like that,” Hilliard said. “It just requires multiple levels of communication. We have to build a partnership with the students, they have to be aware of their own safety.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Patrick Ghidossi at email@example.com.