Is Park’s Safety at the Level it Should Be?

Skylar Britt, Reporter

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Given the United States has experienced 12 school shootings this year; it may be a natural response to question safety procedures at Park University.

A majority of public schools conduct safety drills such as tornado, lockdowns, and fire drills periodically to educate the students on what to do in case of these emergencies. Some students have found it surprising to see the lack of safety drills performed at Park.

“Fire drills are all I’ve been a part of,” said Lana Jones, campus safety officer. “We had some volunteer training on emergency response that included practices to mimic real life events as far as saving people and seeing if they need immediate attention or if they can wait.”

“We are trained on what to do if people are stuck under heavy objects and how to tie a tourniquet and sling,” said Jones. “It was very intense on how to save lives and recognizing the signs.”

However, active shooter drills and training do not seem to be included.

“Since I’ve been here, we haven’t had any drills for active shooters,” said Jones. “Fire drills are the only drills we have.”

The Stylus did learn that a voluntary shooter training is online. Not a single campus safety officer is armed.

Park University resident Audra Gustin, a junior business management major, has experienced the few and far between fire drills those who live in the dorms encounter. While many would assume these fire drills would be held at the beginning of the semester, or at least in the early weeks, the Copley dorms which Gustin resides in did not have it until the month of December on a very cold night.

“It’s not smart that we don’t have these drills regularly, but rather wait until the end of the semester,” said Gustin. “I feel we should have them about every eight weeks to be the safest. The lack of safety drills could possibly lead to the loss of lives.”

Last year, the tornado sirens went off due to a warning in early spring. Not having any training on where to seek safety in this type of situation, many students assumed to go to the basement, having been told that for many years. However, after the students located there and the sirens stopped, it was communicated to them that this was not the place they should have gone.

“If the tornado sirens went off right now, I would honestly not know where to go,” said Gustin. “I would assume the basement in Copley but from previous experience, I know that is not where we’re supposed to go. Supposedly, there is a specific stairwell we are supposed to go into, but we were never informed of this. We should have these tornado drills at least once a semester with an email or something communicating to us where to go.”

With these safety measures being as serious as they are, it is important to ensure that colleges and universities are being proactive to prevent any kind of safety concern.

“Safety should be a top priority, even with just a few drills every so often,” said Gustin. “With the recent school and mass shootings, we should definitely evaluate our safety measures. If there was an active shooter in the dorms, where do we go? What do we do? Do we just stay in our dorms and pray they don’t break down our door? There shouldn’t be this uncertainty.”

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Student newspaper of Park University
Is Park’s Safety at the Level it Should Be?