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UW-Superior Holds Drill Feedback Forum
UW-Superior held campus-wide “active shooter” emergency response drills earlier this month. On Friday, they asked students and staff what they thought about it. Joe Gigliotti reports.
The reactions were mixed from the 35 students and staff at the open forum Friday..
(over intercom) “(Ding ding) I would like your attention please. We are about to conduct of the emergency response plan.”
That’s what people were supposed to hear. But Piano Department Chairwoman Beth Gilbert says one of her music classes didn’t hear a thing.
“So we have some kids that are truly scared now realizing if they’re practicing, they’re not going to know it. At some point, I need to give them some sort of a feedback. Once they realized it’s over, and they never heard anything.”
Others like Associate Dean of Students Tammy Fanning complimented the drills, noting changes the school has made from drills in the past that included mock gun fire sound.
“Just walking through the scenario was good, and I just kind of wanted to affirm the change that had occurred from the time we did it in Old Main once until now. The practice is, I think, less traumatizing, I’ll say.”
Active shooter drills are expected to continue. UWS Public Safety Director Gary Gulbrandson says improving campus safety is an ongoing process. “There may be better ways that we’re not seeing right now on how to educate the campus on how to protect themselves – the reactionary part of it.”
Superior Police Chief Chuck LeGesse says creating daily “what if” scenarios is a good idea. “You should always have that in your mind – what will I do if – and then just keep rehearsing it, and then you’re that much faster to react.”
Facilities Management Director Tom Fennessy says his department is also brainstorming.
“What facilities is doing – we’re taking the approach of looking at all of the feedback, looking at different areas, and seeing where we can enhance some of the current standards that we’ve got, whether it’s door locks and lighting and whatnot.”
Campus Life Vice Chancellor Vicki Hajewski says besides these drills, the campus offer mental health help to students and faculty…a key part of the Sandy Hook tragedy debate.. She urges the campus to take advantage of the school’s licensed counselors. “They work with students one-on-one. They also can be resources to you all in identifying problematic behaviors or addressing things within your classes.”
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