Editorial: Spartans need to be aware of how to handle emergency situations
Earlier this week, an Ohio State University student drove his car into a group of pedestrians on campus. He took his attack a step further, wielding a butcher knife and slashing it at the crowd. A total of 11 Ohio State students and faculty members were injured in the attack, and the suspect was killed on scene.
It’s doubtful that any students on the campus of nearly 60,000 woke up on the morning of the Nov. 28 attack thinking that day would be different from any other Monday. But their morning routines ended up being interrupted by a chilling university alert, followed by a tweet from Ohio State police.
“Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College.”
According to a report from The New York Times, the shelter-in-place following the alert lasted approximately 90 minutes. For 90 minutes, students and faculty hid behind barricaded doors, all the while not knowing whether their friends and classmates were safe on the other side.
It happened nearly 250 miles away, but it just as easily could have happened on MSU’s campus.
The Ohio State student newspaper, The Lantern, reported that some students were not satisfied with their university’s alert system. One student told The Lantern that he felt the initial alert was vague. Another said she was unaware of a video released by the university to educate students on active shooter situations, until she saw it on Facebook after the recent attack, even though the video was released the previous academic year.
Since MSU’s alert system was updated in 2015, MSU officials have said they feel the alert system would be prepared for a shooting scenario. However, at the end of the day it’s up to students and faculty to determine whether or not they feel safe on campus.
No one can really know how they’ll respond to a situation like the Ohio State attack until it happens on their campus. We can send our thoughts to the students and faculty of Ohio State. We can breathe a heavy sigh of relief that it didn’t happen here.
But just because it didn’t happen here doesn’t mean we shouldn’t acknowledge the fact that it could have, and that it could in the future.
Students and faculty at MSU need to treat what happened at Ohio State as a wake up call and determine whether or not they feel prepared to handle a similar situation should it arise on campus. Those who haven’t can update their contact information for MSU alerts to make sure they’re reached as quickly as possible in case of an emergency. Those who have trouble receiving the alerts can be made aware by checking MSU’s homepage and social media accounts.
MSU police also have active violence safety guidelines posted on their website, which detail the steps to take in a situation “when a person is actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.”
It didn’t happen here, and it hasn’t happened here at a time current students would remember. And while we should be grateful that type of terror hasn’t gripped our campus, we should also recognize that it one day could. In the event that it does, we need to make sure we are able to keep ourselves and our fellow Spartans safe.
The State News Editorial Board is made up of the Editor-in-chief Jake Allen, Managing Editor Cameron Macko, Campus Editor Rachel Fradette, Sports Editor Casey Harrison, Features Editor Connor Clark, Copy Chief Casey Holland, Staff Representative Stephen Olschanski and Diversity Representative Alexea Hankin.