Students voice concerns on security

Lorain Watters, Assistant News Editor

Robert Morales, junior criminal justice major, was on campus March 26, 2013, when an alert of a bomb threat was sent out.

When he found out it was not real, he was astounded at how someone could have made a joke like that.

“The guy was a dumbass for doing what he did, especially with everything going on,” Morales said. “I mean, at the time, we just had those elementary school shootings and then something like this happens. It was a joke, but it wasn’t funny.”

Morales saw students playing around while leaving campus and was upset at how they did not take the warning seriously.

“I don’t think the school took enough risks to get everyone out safely,” Morales said. “It was alright what they did, but they didn’t take risks. I do feel safe on campus, but people need to be smart about what they say and not cause panic.”

The bomb threat alert was issued to students via text message through the Miner Alert System. Other than asking students to quickly evacuate, no other details were given to students, faculty and staff, causing confusion and a lack of interest in the situation.

Nearly six months after the incident, students say they feel safe on campus, but wished the threat could have been handled better.

Fernando Melendez, freshman biological sciences major, believes that when events, such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings on Dec. 14, 2012, happen, it makes people scared and they see others in a way that they did not see them before.

“Sadly, we stereotype and when we see someone who is not the same race as us we think they are a terrorist,” Melendez said. “I don’t feel as safe as before because now I know that there are good people and bad people; I am not naïve about my surroundings.”

Amanda Melhoff, senior psychology major, said that what happened on campus with the bomb threat was just an act of immature kids and was not really a threat to everyone’s safety, not in the same way as what happened in Aurora, Colo., July, 20, 2012, when a mass shooting took place inside a movie theater.

“I think, as a society, we are safe, but when things like that do happen it hurts our infrastructure. Citizens begin to think we aren’t safe and that our government can’t control those situations,” Melfhoff said.

Daisy Ortega, freshman dance major, is frightened by the events taking place nationally, such as the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013.

“It’s scary because you don’t know what is going to happen,” Ortega said. “I don’t think you can be safe at a school anymore or anywhere. It’s really hard to gain trust again.”

Lorain Watters may be reached at [email protected]