How safe are you at Eastern Michigan University?
That’s the question some students are asking following recent events at the University of Central Florida, where a former student stockpiled guns and explosives and held his roommate at gunpoint before committing suicide.
“In terms of emergency preparedness, EMU has made significant progress over the last few years,” said Mark Wesley, EMU’s emergency management director. “The university has a comprehensive emergency management plan developed and executive leadership has trained, through various exercise scenarios, on how to implement a response to a major emergency. We continually evaluate our capabilities and resources and what we need to do improve delivery of services both pre-emergency and in response to events.”
Some EMU students, both commuters and residents, said they generally felt safe on campus, but numerous said they were unsure about what to do or where to go in an emergency.
“If something happens on campus, I’ll just drive home,” said Trenton Sexton, a sophomore commuter majoring in electronic media and film.
Jeremy Kazdan, a resident junior film studies major, said he would
just “go with the flow” and do what others were doing.
“I don’t know where to go for terrorist or bomb threats,” said Jenessa Oliver, a resident freshman journalism major.
Oliver also said she didn’t recall emergency preparedness being discussed during orientation.
Commuter Ian Mckay, a junior communications major, said he would seek out campus security or use one of the emergency call buttons set up around campus during an emergency.
“I’m usually not far from the Student Center, and I know where the security spots are,” McKay said.
Haley Foster, a resident sophomore nursing major, said she didn’t know where she would go or what to do during most emergencies, but added that the dorms held fire drills.
Wesley said it’s ultimately the students’ responsibility to review the emergency preparedness information and to think about what their responses would be.
“When it comes to student preparedness, we work to make a variety of tools and materials available to students,” he said. “We offer training, information in the form of the emergency wallet cards, emergency response flip charts, text alerting services, campus-wide notification through outdoor and in-building speakers and other means of making students aware of emergency information.”
“We encourage students to sign up for the text alerting [www.emich.edu/publicsafety/emo/channels/text.php] and have additional information available on the EMU Emergency Management website,” Wesley said.
Go to www.emich.edu/publicsafety/emo/ for more information.
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