The streets of Heaven are too crowded with angels…

14 02 2008

*seems like a lot of people are hitting this post, check out my Streets of Heaven update to find what you are looking for* I am interrupting my Valentine’s Day celebration to share my thoughts on the tragic events of today, because some things are bigger than Cupid. At 3pm this afternoon, a gunman open-fired in a lecture hall housing a beginner level ocean sciences class at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. According to witnesses, the man, dressed in black, stepped out from behind a curtain and began shooting into the crowd with a shotgun. He ended up killing 5 students including the graduate student leading the ocean sciences class and wounding 16 others before turning the gun on himself. The class, which consisted of mainly freshmen and sophomores, had 162 students enrolled. In a nod to the school’s security measures enacted following the tragedy at Virginia Tech last year, as soon as 3:07pm the school was ordered on lockdown. At 3:20pm the school’s website, email system, and another campus alarm system had posted an alert. By 4:00pm, campus and local law enforcement had determined that there was only one shooter, and by 4:14pm another alert was issued that the immediate threat had passed.
I want to commend NIU on their security measures, and say to all other colleges, we need more! I was a college student not so long ago. My suggestion? College students use their cell phones. Enable a text message alert system much like an email system or these new advertising techniques that some have started to employ. I get those annoying messages on occasion. Make it optional. I would think that anyone who watched the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shooting, or now the NIU shooting would be willing to sign up for such a service. As long as the schools can agree to not abuse the priviledge. Certainly if there is an emergency I would want to get a message about it. I wouldn’t even be opposed to getting a text message had my campus been shut down due to inclement weather. It makes sense, most college students have their cell phones on them, more often than they would have a laptop on them to check email. If I was still in college, I would even be willing to add the additional $2 per credit hour per student it might cost to pay for it. I wish someone would conduct a poll on this. I am thinking of drafting a letter to my alma mater about. And as the boy sighs, I assure you it will not be happening tonight. I just couldn’t let this go until tomorrow due to the unspeakable tragedy that happened in DeKalb today. The thoughts and prayers of myself (and boy) are with the students, faculty, and families of Northern Illinois University tonight. To read more on the story, go to the NYTimes website.

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2 responses

15 02 2008
joey!

Texas state has mobile campus…you have to sign up but they send you texts if class has been cancelled school wide. Like for power outages, bad weather etc. They also send out coupons for local businesses, just show the text, and most kids use theM!

15 02 2008
Aaron browning

Great thoughts Courtney. I also think we need to somehow improve the security of our campuses. The problem with being so free is also the reality that if you believe in the “last days prophecy” it seems that the evil of man is just getting worse. But do we change our democracy and lifestyle, I think if this becomes a common trend we have to take measures. I’ve heard people talk about allowing professors to carry guns. But I think this doesn’t solve anything really, whenever that one isolated professor goes off then it’s an even worse scenario because kids expect some sort of authority from their professor, at least safety. It’s tragic though, we could maybe implement an air Marshall type system and for any class over 100 kids, we should have one “air marshall” type person. Like create a division of homeland security that would employ this system and at least aim to provide a little sense of security in classes that have none when someone possessed like this opens up. But good thoughts!!!

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