Something really scary happened on campus Monday morning. I need to express how I'm feeling about the whole thing.
You can read more about it here or here but the incident ended with a 19 year old losing his life. I'm really sad and honestly, I feel less safe on campus. Thankfully I was still snug in my bed at the time of the incident but had it happened an hour later, I would have been walking right through the area.
I walk that path to class every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Many students were in that area when a truck being chased by police cars came flying the wrong way up a road and onto Central Campus. Shots were fired and the man was taken to the hospital. He was pronounced dead soon after.
ISU has an alert system in place for any emergency on campus be it incidents like this, the "bomb" threat like a few weeks ago, threatening weather, or anything else that could come up. All students are encouraged to put their information into the system. You can receive an email, a phone call, a text, or all three. The system was just tested a few weeks ago and everything seemed to be working just fine.
The problem on Monday was that the alert system failed. The chase had gone through multiple parts of campus where students were on their way to class, shots were fired, and the suspect was taken into custody long before the alert was sent out. Students heard the gunshots but had no way of knowing where it came from and that they weren't in danger. I'm signed up for the alerts but I never received one in any form. Many other students didn't either or if they did, it was way after the incident occurred. I read an article today stating that the email ended up in many students' spam folders instead of their inbox. We were told to stay away from the area but the school decided not to cancel classes. It's nearly impossible to avoid this area as it is literally the center of all the classrooms.
It's really scary to think about these things happening on our beautiful campus. A young man lost his life and we were all told to continue on with class like nothing had happened. Students weren't informed of what was going on and could have been injured in the process. There are still a lot of questions about what happened and why it was handled the way it was by the police and the school.
I said a lot of extra prayers on Monday for all those who were involved or affected by this incident. I definitely feel blessed that I wasn't walking through there when it happened! I'll pray that next time a major emergency happens on our campus, things are handled differently. It makes me feel uneasy to think about all the tragedies that have taken place in a school setting, this one included. To be told to continue on with our day is pretty appalling and acting like it didn't happen is even worse. What kind of world do we live in where it's okay for someone to die on a college campus and we just ignore it?