Campus alert arouses safety concerns

Today’s society is growing: booming with new technology, advancements in medicine and equal opportunity. Unfortunately, as our growth expands, so do problems we once didn’t have to worry about. Tuesday, Jan. 21, an armed man approached Purdue University’s campus seeking to kill a fellow classmate. The suspect is Cody Cousins, a 23-year-old student in Purdue’s college of engineering.

Every university has a certain safety and alert process to assure the safety of their students. However, how would they assure safety from peers? How do you insure safety over the whole campus?

Yet to be explained is the reasoning for Cousins’ actions, the relationship between him and the victim, Austin Boldt, and the type of gun used in the crime.

Although this occurred nine hours away from Missouri Southern, what would happen if we were to experience the same situation?

Coincidently, also occurring on Tuesday, Jan. 21 at approximately 2:24 p.m., a campus wide text message went out to MSSU students informing everyone about a “dangerous person possibly armed” who was last seen between dorms Stegge and Dishmen.

Shortly after this message was sent, at 3:54 p.m., another text message assured students University Police had thoroughly checked residence halls with no suspicious person located.

Although campus police only took an hour and 30 minutes to secure the campus, is Missouri Southern implementing enough safety precautions to assure that our students/staff are safe during any threat?

Other college campuses implement safety precautions that include: having to enter a password into a keypad in order to enter the dorms, showing student ID to the Resident Advisor (RA) before the RA opens the dorm door, having emergency stations around the campus in case any student feels a threat, and having an access card that allows the student to get into the dorm building itself. If any person/persons posed a threat to students at our campus, how easy could they hurt someone?

Being a student here at MSSU, I rarely use my student ID, and I definitely don’t use it on a regular basis, although I commute to school and don’t live on campus. To insure safety from anyone who isn’t a student, having to use your student ID in order to get into certain places or buildings should be a safety precaution. Along with using our student ID’s as a method of safety, there should be a way of detecting guns at entrances. Having a firearm on school property is not allowed, but how would anyone know someone is armed unless they have already caused a threat?

After realizing how many safety precautions MSSU doesn’t have, I walked to my classes thinking differently about our campus. What if I had a gun in my bag? I entered four buildings without a single question or concern about what I was carrying. What if I wasn’t a student at Missouri Southern? I could walk into any class that I wanted to and act like I belonged there. Not once did I need my student ID. Anything could happen at any moment and our entire campus isn’t prepared.

The question shouldn’t be how often we would see a threat on our campus, but rather what would we do if we did. Think to yourself, do you feel safe? If you were sitting in the Lion’s Den eating your usual and a person walked in pointing a gun, what would you do? For now, there are some changes that should be made to this campus to esnsure safety. Let’s not see Purdue University replaced in the headlines by Missouri Southern.