In times of emergency, it is generally the expectation that those who are responsible for providing safety and support to the community are the ones who alert about the possibilities of danger. During the weekend of Nov. 17, an armed man was reported on the Keene State College campus. However, Campus Safety failed to notify students of either of the attacks, leaving it up to the student body to find out through second hand information.

The RAs’ response to the campus-wide lockdown was also rife with problems, as many of the RAs did not know the proper emergency protocol. In a relatively safe community such as Keene, N.H., the threat of danger can oftentimes be overlooked or dismissed, leading to (in the case of the armed gunman) unpreparedness and higher risks to student safety.

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Although it is not something we as a community want to think about or prepare for, we should have an expectation that our safety and security will be protected to the best of the abilities of security on campus. The glaring lack of communication between Campus Safety and the general student body inhibited students’ ability to take their safety in their own hands.

Without sufficient knowledge of the dangers posed that night, students could not fully protect themselves—nor could they make informed decisions about what to do and not do that night.

Safety and security are things we as Keene State College students and community members take for granted—living in a small town increases the chance of lack of oversight in planning for emergency situations.

However, it is the job of people in charge of campus security to make sure these preparations are carried out and the proper protocol for distributing information is followed. Although no one was harmed at the end of the night, we should take this as a sign of luck and see this experience as an opportunity to grow and become better prepared for the next emergency situation we may face.


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