Every day, we are bombarded by images of violence and tragedy. Whether this is on the news, through social media or by opening a newspaper, we cannot deny that we are confronted by it regularly. The real tragedy of the matter, I feel, is that the majority of us would have no idea what to do if put in a life-threatening situation. We assume we’re safe here on our campus and that something like that could never happen here.
I’d wager that the people at Columbine and Virginia Tech probably felt the same way, and I can all but guarantee the students and faculty at Sandy Hook felt the same. The fact of the matter is that an active shooter assault can happen anywhere and if, God forbid, the unthinkable were to happen here at K-State, we need to be prepared to take an active role in our own protection.
There is a program devised by Greg Crane, a police officer, in response to the shootings at Columbine in 1999, called ALICE training. ALICE training “teaches individuals to participate in their own survival, while leading others to safety.” That is what we need. Currently, there is only one person on campus certified to offer this training and in a university of this size. I believe this is remiss. As of right now, this training is only being offered to staff and faculty and very infrequently. Why should our students not be given the tools to take an active role in their own protection?
My ultimate goal is that funds be allocated to certifying more people so that ALICE training can be offered to students and eventually be required by the university. The hard truth is that, while we may feel safe on our campus, there is a very real possibility that we may not be. I believe we, as a university family, deserve to be able to protect ourselves in the event that the unthinkable happens.
Thank you for your time,