Syracuse University showed the world this morning that if nothing else came from the Virginia Tech tragedy less than two years ago, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. According to Newsday, a nearby drive-by shooting in upstate New York prompted officials to place Syracuse University in a lockdown status. Though the university re-opened shortly thereafter without any mishaps, the emergency protocol followed today might not have been in place had it not been for the tragedy that struck Virginia Tech in 2007, resulting in the loss of faculty and student lives. Universities nationwide now have lockdown procedures in place, and have learned that where campus safety is concerned, there’s no such thing as being too safe.
In April 2007, gunshots rang out from the Virginia Tech campus, resulting in the greatest campus tragedy in a university’s history. My family joined thousands of others in trying to ascertain the safety of students and faculty on the campus. Thankfully, my freshman sister was off campus for the day, miles away from the site of the Virginia Tech tragedy. The university’s experience, however, prompted other universities to examine their emergency response plans. While universities nationwhide mourned with Virginia Tech’s community, they also looked at their own campus safety measures and saw where they could be lacking.
Freshly laid plans were put into action today at Syracuse University, where a nearby drive-by shooting resulted in the university’s decision to lockdown until their safety was confirmed by local authorities. The large campus, where I once accepted (and then declined) a spot in the class of 2001, is expansive and rather open, making it an ideal place for the shooter to have retreated to or driven through in hopes of avoiding the police. The lockdown protocol was a wise decision by Syracuse university officials, proving that it’s better to be safe than sorry where campus security is concerned.
According to the Associated Press, the victim is in critical condition and was not a student at Syracuse University.
Universities nationwide should take note of Syracuse’s quick response to a potential student safety concern, use this opportunity to re-assess their own security and emergency procedures, and continually assess their emergency campus protocols.
Associated Press; http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CAMPUS_LOCKDOWN?SITE=NHPOR&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT