When a school shooting occurs in our country, Dixie State University faculty, students and staff often wonder about what safety precautions are in place on campus.
After the shooting in Parkland, FL. Feb. 14, and most recently at the YouTube Headquarters, certain faculty members began to question the safety of DSU in the event of a mass shooting. Eric Young, a communication professor, said in general, DSU is prepared for a shooting.
Young said, “They have taken steps to train staff and faculty and administrators alike in adopting the police philosophy in the event of this kind of mass shooter.”
Ron Isaacson, assistant director of public safety on campus, made similar comments about the campus police. He said they also go through training specifically focused on shooters on campus once a year and again right after a mass shooting.
The problem, Young said, is some buildings are safe, but others may leave students exposed during an attack.
“Doors that open to the outside that are not lockable from the inside make those classrooms very vulnerable, and our Hazy building is ripe with classes like that,” Young said.
Taryn Dipp, a freshman physical therapy assistant major from West Valley City, said that although she does feel safe on campus and would feel safe on campus in the event of an active shooter, she doesn’t actually know what the protocol would be, or if there even is a protocol.
“I mean I get those safety emails like once a week but I don’t ever really read them,” Dippo said.
Young, along with other faculty members on campus, are worried nothing is being done to help secure those buildings that are less prepared for a shooting.
When it comes down to it, the best way to protect our campus from experiencing a mass shooting is to talk to each other, Young said.
“You want to increase safety, increase your relationship with your students, with your peers,” Young said. “If we could recognize escalation in other people and we can have the courage to go through and engage them and say…’what can I do?’…We just engage people like we used to engage people before technology interrupted that.”