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Thread: Freakouts and Lockdowns On Campuses

  1. #1
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    Therehave been several of these freakouts/lockdowns inthe last two or three weeks. Since schools are now goingonsummer break they may subside. But heaven help anyone whohas a gun oncampus and is found out.I can't think of a riskier thing for a law abidingcitizen to do than carry a gunon campus.

    And just think, all the extra costs of the freakouts and lockdowns are being paid by the U.S. taxpayer.

    After scare, UF nearly closed down
    April 20. 2007


    Sun staff writer

    The nightmare trial run came earlier for Bernie Machen than he thought it would.

    Just three days after a gunman killed 32 people at the Virginia Tech campus, the president of the University of Florida feared his university might have a similar situation on its hands.

    Around 3 a.m. Thursday, Machen received a call from authorities that a man had been spotted on campus carrying a gun. By 3:30 a.m., Machen was meeting in his living room with Ed Poppell, vice president for finance and administration, and University Police Chief Linda Stump, trying to determine what to do.

    "If we couldn't find the person, had no idea where they were or who they were, I think we were seriously considering actually at that time should we close the university until we figure out what was going on," Machen said.

    If the person hadn't been found by 6 a.m., Machen said the university might very well have been closed. Fortunately, it never came to that. By 3:30 a.m., police had apprehended 19-year-old Travis Raymond Young, a UF student who was in possession of a pellet gun. Young was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. The charge was made because the witness who saw Young said she was frightened by him upon seeing the weapon protruding from his pocket.

    Machen mentioned some of these concerns while talking to students at a Student Government-sponsored forum Thursday night at Reitz Union.

    What proved to be a relatively innocuous incident made the difficulties of maintaining campus safety all too clear to Machen. UF has a main campus of more than 2,000 acres, 1,000 buildings and 20 paved entrances. In the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, university officials across the country are contemplating how exactly they could go about actually shutting down this sort of campus. Machen concedes it would be incredibly difficult.

    "There's no way you could lock it," Machen said. "You could put somebody at each entrance, and then you could send out all the e-mails and the other information to tell people not to come to campus. But you know how it is, people walk across the lawns and things like that, so it wouldn't be an actual prevention of people coming on (campus). We'd basically decided to tell people, 'Hey, don't come to class and don't come to work if you're an employee.' ''

    Since Monday's shooting in Blacksburg, Va., Machen says he's received at least 10 e-mails from the parents of incoming freshmen who want a "guarantee" that the university will be able to text message students in the event of an emergency. Critics have charged that lives might have been saved at Virginia Tech if the university could have more quickly warned students of the potential of a gunman on the loose.

    UF already has a text-messaging system in place, but only about 2,000 people on the 50,000-student campus are signed up to receive alerts. With such a massive campus, reaching everyone in real time would be extremely difficult, Machen said.

    "If I need to get something to you all in the next 15 minutes, I don't know how to do that with 50,000 students, and I think that's the challenge for us to figure out," Machen told students.

    While Machen sought to comfort students Thursday night, almost playing a fatherly role in his dialogue, he also laid out the harsh realities of the modern world.

    "When a deranged person decides to do the crazy things that person decided to do (at Virginia Tech)," he said, "it's virtually impossible to provide a system that would guarantee that that couldn't happen."

  2. #2
    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    May 2006
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    First we believe the government can protect us, now we believe text messaging will protect us from gunmen hell bent on destruction. These people need to pull their heads out of their backside's!!

    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3
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    Apr 2007
    Auburn, Alabama, USA

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    Woah. Pellet guns are awesome! You can assault people without even touching them!

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