College students across the country are on edge after a student attack on Ohio State’s campus Monday that injured 11 people before the suspect himself was shot and killed.
“It’s one of those things that should be in the back of your head. It shouldn’t make you paranoid and scared to come to class,” said Charlie Leone, Executive Director of Campus Safety Services.
Leone said Ohio State Police took appropriate actions to keep campus safe and added that his department would handle the attack in a similar manner. He believes that Temple Police would be ready– thanks to their annual active shooter training and recent upgrades in their communication center that allows easy contact with officers throughout campus.
“All of our security officers on their post, besides what they hear on the radio in case they miss something, they get an electronic phone call to their post, telling them what’s happened,” he said.
Students at Ohio State received an alert from the University during the attack, in part, saying “Run Hide Fight.” Many of those students chose to hide. Some turned to barricading themselves in classrooms with chairs.
The phrase is part of a newer initiative in cooperation with the United State Department of Homeland Security. It is not used exclusively by Ohio State. However, Temple students showed mixed reaction on that message’s effectiveness.
“I feel like that would put people into a panic,” said freshmen Magellan McCarty. “I feel like Ohio State was trying to help out and I don’t blame them for that, but that would definitely make me very scared.”
Olivia Das, a sophomore, said the message is short, but to the point and very effective. “It’s a very simple message and it’s something that anybody can do, and there are plenty of places to hide on campus if you know where to look,” she said.
Sophomore Jack Ewart attended high school four blocks from the White House in Washington D.C. He’s used to heavy security presence but said that these attacks can happen at anytime, anywhere. The alert message for him is more alarming than helpful, “It’s not something I would want to see as a student.”
Protocol for alerts on campus at Temple would be a little different, Leone said. Should there ever be an incident on campus, officials would send out an immediate alert notifying students what the threat is, and the location of the attack. From there, more alerts would be sent to update students on the situation as time progressed.
Even though his department would be prepared to handle an attack, Leone knows how nerve-wracking incidents like the Ohio State attack can be for the Temple community. “It’s along the lines of a plane crash, you know it’s safe to fly, it rarely happens, but when it does happen it’s devastating and it scares everybody,” he said.