Last week the University held its first President’s Open Forum of the semester. These are regular meetings throughout the term that allow anyone from the campus community to ask President Jack Miller anything they want that’s been bothering them or to simply bring up a concern that they might have.
Recently however, a topic has been decided prior to each meeting that serves as the focus of the discussion. There’s still time for open floor if someone wishes to bring something up that doesn’t relate to the predetermined subject.
The issue at the latest forum was campus security. This was obviously chosen due to several school shootings occurring already this year, not to mention the tragic events that transpired at Sandy Hook last year. It’s great that CCSU is addressing something as serious as campus security in the wake of these unfortunate happenings.
The worst thing to do when a terrible incident takes place is to ignore it. Out of respect for the victims it is the school’s responsibility to better prepare itself to try to make sure nothing like that happens here. By holding the forum on this topic the school is holding up its end of the bargain. Yet there was still something missing. Roughly the same group of administrators and faculty that attend all the President’s open forums were present at this past one. With a topic as timely and as important as this one, there should have been a line out the door.
In order to fully prepare for any kind of emergency on campus the faculty needs to be educated on the University’s policies. When they are in charge of a classroom full of students, it is their duty to know exactly what procedures to follow should anything ever happen here at CCSU.
Take for example the threatening phone call that the University received last summer. A man called the school and said he was coming to kill people. Even though it turned out that he was in another town and seemingly never had any plans to come to campus, he very easily could have been serious about it.
CCSU immediately sent out an email and text notifications letting people know what the situation was. But once the message was relayed to the school that the suspect was apprehended students began to leave their classes. On their way out, some told reporters that they didn’t even know anything was going on. Others said they heard about it, but their professor wasn’t sure what to do so they locked the door and continued teaching class. Despite not being ready for such a predicament, the school got away unscathed. But will we be so lucky the next time?
It’s understandable that some people can’t make it to all the forums, but something as essential as security needs undivided attention. It’s not often that you get a second chance in a crisis, but that’s exactly what CCSU got when it was lucky enough that the man who made the threatening phone call never had any intention of hurting anyone.
There were 959 faculty members teaching at CCSU in the fall semester of 2012, including part-time and full-time, according to CCSU Fast Facts. The amount of people at the last forum, while relatively decent for an event of its kind, was lacking given how many faculty members CCSU employs. For a crisis plan to work it must be carried through with extreme precision and little to no mishaps. This is why everyone has to be fully vested in it and attend forums that address the very issue.