It was a year ago when we realized how inadequate our police were. Week after week, gunmen went crazy on campus. One allegedly robbed people with AK-47s; another allegedly pulled out a handgun and shot it in the air. It was the beginning of an unstable period at GSU.I find it hilariously funny how administrators can get in front of a TV camera in their best suits and say the campus of GSU is safe. To modify a quote from a Jay-Z song, “My brother please.”
On Tuesday, it was déja vu all over again. I was getting ready to head to my class in order to prepare for a test. Suddenly, pandemonium broke lose.
“They got guns in JTS!”
Me, being a journalist, I wanted to rush over there and see for myself what was going on. However, I had to put education first. I had to actually live with getting inaccurate information from people. One person called me and said that there was a gunman with a bulletproof vest on, ready to pull a Columbine.
I was mortified. I sat in class, patiently waiting for my beloved school to use the FirstCall system, a system that’s sure to cost a pretty nice penny. Instead, my friends, people who were scared and hiding in their rooms, were the ones to give me the updates. Finally, one of the photographers told me that everything was cool.
So, of course, I’m pissed beyond repair. There’s a guy walking around campus with a gun, a loaded gun, who had intent to possibly murder someone, and I’m left in the dark by the same people I pay thousands of dollars to?
But, I thought maybe the FirstCall system was overloaded and I’d get the text late. Sure, that had to be it. Then, I was given the shocking revelation by KSLA on their Web site.
“It was confirmed that the person that brandished the weapon was already off campus, so there wasn’t the need to follow that protocol,” said Byron McCauley, GSU’s PR director.
I’m sorry? There is a guy walking around, mad at the world with a gun and there was no need to inform me, a concerned student, about it? Are you really serious? So, you mean to tell me that you can inform me of a water outage, that really has no immediate danger that could go up to death, but you can’t inform me about an angry student with a loaded gun?
I guess the University really doesn’t learn a lesson. Last September, The Gramblinite did extensive coverage on the University not using the FirstCall system. The administration swore up and down that the students were in no immediate danger, yet no suspects were ever caught. They never even informed the students of the “description” of the suspects.
It gets worse. A few months before that, three gun incidents happened. One canceled the 2008 TigerFest step show and locked down the campus. Another one occurred over the summer when a GSUPD officer was shot at while investigating a suspect robbing a car. The incident that left a scar was when gunmen robbed students in Truth.
It just seems as if one of the basic needs of the students are not being fulfilled. That need is safety.
There are factual stories all the time about how people are breaking into dorms, loaded with a gun, and robbing people at gunpoint. The sad thing is that the University tries to keep things silent. There’s supposed to be a correspondence sent to The Gramblinite, alerting students of crimes and so on, but not one has been sent.
Alas, I propose this question to President Horace A. Judson: What is going to be done about campus safety? I cannot brag about Grambling to parents, knowing I could be putting their children in danger. I cannot go to a high school student, say great things about my University, and have them fearing for their lives once they arrive.
It’s a shame and a travesty to ignore the fact that campus safety has been a huge issue. People are getting robbed left and right, raped, students are wielding guns on campus, and transfers are being filed. Yet, the major concern of the GSUPD is, “Who’s parking where?”
I guess that’s the best campus safety they know.