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UWL Faculty Not Required to Train for School Shootings

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Karley Betzler, Staff Reporter

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As of March 7, there have been 52 mass shootings this year in the United States (massshootingtracker.org). University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Office of Residence life recently sent out an email concerning the shooting at Central Michigan University. This email stated that students safety is important, their full-time staff are trained in Active Shooter Training and more about how they keep students safe. However, the faculty who interact with students most, their professors, are not required to participate in Active Shooter Training.  

UWL’s Chief of Police Scott McCullough stated that, “Although the University does not mandate this type of training…” they provide active shooter response training only when it’s requested. McCullough did not provide a response as to why active shooter response trainer is not mandatory for professors.   

When asked if professor’s having no active shooter response training affected student’s safety, UWL’s Director of Residence Life Jacque Bollinger stated she couldn’t comment on student’s safety. Bollinger then added, “it is the responsibility of our students to become informed and be aware of resources on how they can also help themselves.”  

UWL’s Provost and Vice Chancellor Betsy Morgan again confirmed that, “There is no mandated training”. Morgan commented, “The research on safety indicates that confusion is reduced in an actual situation if there has been some practice.” Morgan went on to say, “So, I think that all faculty and staff should think about how they should act if a situation were to occur.”  

Morgan stated that, “an active shooter phenomena, despite how horrific they are, thankfully, they are still relatively rare and we should be more or equally concerned about fires or tornadoes.” 

The rarity Morgan proposes for these events could be decreasing, though. Citizens Crime Commision of New York City conducted a study in October of 2016 which found that shootings on or near college campuses are increasing. The authors of this study wrote, “It is imperative that lawmakers, policymakers, college administrators, law enforcement and others begin to have a serious dialogue and enact meaningful reforms to address this epidemic and make America’s colleges safe again.”  

The authors from CCNWY also noted that, “Based on current trends, the problem is likely to become much graver over the next decade”. 

Bollinger added to the conversation that, “many of the staff in Student Affairs, including the Professional Staff in the Department of Residence Life have participated in [Alert,  Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate] Training offered through UWL Police.”  

This training is known as A.L.I.C.E. and it is, according to McCullough, “taught not only by police but by trained civilians.” McCullough added for the past two years, University Police have, “hosted the A.L.I.C.E. train the trainer class during the winter break and have sponsored people from Human Resources, Residence Life, and Student Affairs.”  

McCullough explained the reason behind doing this as, “The thought is that people accept or learn better if it is not only a police officer talking but a co-worker or peer from around campus.” Bollinger noted, “The Rec Center staff, the Union staff, the Student Life Office and the Child Care center staff are all trained” in A.L.I.C.E..  

Looking ahead, McCullough stated that, “We encourage everyone to at least think about what to do, say something if they see something, and finally reach out if they want to attend a class.” 

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About the Writer
Karley Betzler, Co-Editor-in-Chief


Year at UWL: Junior
Hometown: Anoka, Minnesota
Major: Communication Studies with an emphasis in Media Studies
Minors: Criminal Justice and...

2 Comments

2 Responses to “UWL Faculty Not Required to Train for School Shootings”

  1. Rob on March 19th, 2018 4:00 pm

    Thanks so much for writing this article. From my perspective, it shares what info is available and points out that training is available (and used by many on-campus staff), even if it is not mandatory, without making a major judgement call in any specific direction. It’s important information to know and can help our student body/community be better informed given the circumstances surrounding us.

    Personally, I hope that our staff and faculty are not put into a situation anytime soon where an active shooter is present, and hopefully some legislation can be enacted to help prevent them from happening throughout the nation very soon.

  2. Parker Bresette on September 27th, 2018 5:13 pm

    Dear Editor,

    Mass shootings have become a common occurrence in America, especially in schools. So as college students and professors, we should know what to do in an active shooter situation.
    If the situation arose of a shooter entering our campus, I believe that students and faculty alike would be confused on what to do, and confusion brings panic. A way to prepare UW- La Crosse for this would be to make Active Shooter Training mandatory for all professors. Currently UWL does not require professors to take the training, but it is provided upon request. Although, some may not feel the need to take the training, knowing what to do in an Active shooter situation could save lives.
    Everyone who is regularly on the UWL campus should be educated on what to do in the event, including students. As of right now it is up to each individual student to educated themselves, but if enough people do the training, the next step could be a required class to prepare for a shooting. If anyone who works at or attends UWL would like to take A.L.I.C.E. (The course provided for active shooter training) you may reach out to University Police; the class is hosted during winter break. It is everyone’s duty on campus to be aware and know what to do in emergency situations, and this could be one of the most dangerous situations we may face.

    Sincerely,
    Parker Bresette

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