Last week there was a shooting threat on the Biscayne Bay Campus. While nothing came out of it, we at PantherNOW realized that there are some issues with communication between FIUPD and students in emergency situations. During the shooting threat, a vague university-wide email by FIUPD was sent out.
“Take any action you feel is appropriate for your immediate areas,” said the email. We’re not exactly sure what was meant by that. Many FIU students have never been in a situation where they would know what to do during a shooting threat.
A shooting threat is a very serious situation and people need exact instruction on what to do to stay safe. “Taking any action” seemed vague and unhelpful. FIUPD shouldn’t assume people know what to do during these times. Active shooter training should be more accessible so we do know exactly how to respond. But many FIU students and staff don’t even know that an active shooter training is offered, so how are we to know what the appropriate actions should be during a shooting threat?
Mass shootings are an unfortunate reality across the U.S. It is always living in the back of our minds. Without proper training and instructions, panic could ensue on campus. People need to feel secure and we deserve to feel confident that FIUPD will keep us safe in any emergency situations, especially in a life or death situation such as a possible shooting. Giving us vague instructions is not going to make anyone feel secure, and could cause further chaos.
Do we hide? Do we run away? What is the best escape route during a shooting? These are all questions that we have, and answers that FIUPD should be providing. It is so important to have clear emergency protocols so everyone can remain calm and safe during an emergency situation. So much confusion will be spared from this and this could also prevent any tragedies from occurring. We deserve better, clear and concise emergency communication from FIU.