Emergency policies seem ineffective
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 17:02
With meteors hitting Russia, tornadoes hitting Mississippi and the recent raft of mass shootings, students at ASU might be wondering about their safety on campus.
If you research campus safety concerns online you will most likely find yourself staring at www.campussafetymagazine.com.
After looking through their stories, it is clear that preparation for campus emergencies are a big issue and that the university needs reevaluate the university’s preparations for emergencies.
The student handbook on ASU’s website has instructions for some standard emergencies including fire and tornado drills.
When the fire alarm sounds students are required to exit the building, maintain a distance from the building of 100 feet and may only enter the building when cleared by a university official.
For tornadoes students are required to go to the lowest part of the building. When a storm strikes, students are to crouch down with their head between your knees with your hands above your head, and may leave when cleared by an official.
While the handbook has good plans for these, what of other emergencies?
Consider the email that was sent out one week ago about earthquakes.
The moment you opened the message, you were told that an earthquake drill was in order and you were to take cover and hold on to something until the shaking stopped unless you were driving.
There is no guarantee, however, that every student checked the email.
Perhaps a required drill with an alarm sound different from the fire alarm designated to signify that an earthquake drill is in progress will help solve this problem.
From this drill it is clear that students will have no preparation for such an emergency.
What about school shootings?
The university does have the active shooter presentation in preparation for a campus shooter situation, but there is no guarantee that everyone on the campus has attended the seminar.
Personally, I think it should be legal for individuals with concealed carry licenses to take their concealed weapons on campus as I believe that the only way a violent threat to your life can be stopped is with preparation to reciprocate appropriate and equal force to said threat.
Larry Seigel’s book Criminolgy, suggests that 40,000 lives have been saved annually as a result of citizens being armed and said citizens have always testified their confidence that having their guns on their persons almost certainly saved their lives.
Moreover, the author of this book suggests that 30,000 lives are lost in America annually as a result of gun crime.
While I am a respectful, law abiding citizen who trusts the police to stop a threat, there is no guarantee that the police can always arrive at the scene.
However, there are some issues with concealed carry that would need to be considered.
For instance, one has to be 21 or older to own a gun, be eligible for a gun permit, and legally carry a weapon.
A great deal of students are under 21, but this issue could be resolved if the gun law restrictions could be pushed back to 18 as one only needs to be that age to join the military.
Currently legislation is being proposed to allow faculty to carry concealed firearms on campus. This is a start, but how is the students right to carry any different?
Let me close by saying regardless of what your take is on drills or the right to carry weapons on campus, the bottom line is something must be done to improve emergency preparation on this campus.
Jason Holland is working on his second bachelors in criminology and resides in Jonesboro.