SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Universities are hectic places daily. There are up to 50,000 people including students, teachers, and visitors on a college campus at any given time. This makes universities particularly vulnerable to active shooter situations.
The mass shooting that killed three students and injured five at Michigan State on Feb. 13 continues to remind us that these tragedies can occur anywhere. The Syracuse University Department of Public Safety (DPS) released a statement to remind students and faculty of the resources in case of an emergency: “While tragedies such as these often come without warning, it is critical that students, faculty, and staff are aware of safety resources and take steps to prepare in the rare event of an emergency on campus.”
This was a portion of an email DPS sent to all staff and students on Feb. 17. However, it is not necessarily widely known around campus what resources and emergency preparedness are in place.
“Thinking about this year, I do not remember hearing anything from DPS about being prepared for something like this,” Syracuse University sophomore John Fiore said. “Obviously they do have a gameplan, but as a student walking around campus if something were to happen, it would be a complete panic.”
As a result of the recent mass shootings at Michigan State and the University of Virginia back in November, 65% of current and prospective college students are concerned for their safety on campus according to BestColleges.com. However, even though students are concerned for their safety, nearly 75% still say they feel safe on their campus.
“I do feel a sense of safety and a sense of protection here,” SU professor Edecio Martinez said. “Mostly because the students are vigilant, the teachers and staff are vigilant.”
For more information about SU’s Department of Public Safety exact protocols during an active shooter situation go to dps.syr.edu.