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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Texas State needs better active shooting preparedness

Abby Funderburk

It is safe to assume the majority of college students know what a school shooting drill is due to high school regulations. However, many would not know what to do if there was a real shooting on the Texas State campus.

Several college campuses, including TXSTUT and A&M have procedures set in case of shootings. While there are plans set in place, not many people know of them. Making sure students and professors are aware of proper plans should be a priority.

Students should be thoroughly educated on what to do in the case of an active shooting since the number of mass shootings throughout the country is higher than ever before.

In addition, the number of college campus shootings is growing each year. In 2023 alone, there were 13 campus shootings resulting in at least one death. One of these shootings occurred at Prairie View A&M University, which is only about 300 miles from Texas State.

While this number is much smaller than the number of school shootings in grades K-12, any number of lives lost due to gun violence is too many.

Along with statistics, it is important to note that Texas State is an open campus. This means anybody can be present on campus, whether they are a student or not. Because of this, there is always the potential danger of someone bringing a weapon to campus. According to the Texas Government Code Section 411.2031, anyone with a concealed carry license is allowed to carry on campus.

While requiring a license seems to be a good way to prevent just anyone from bringing a gun on campus, there is no effective way to ensure only the people who are licensed have a gun on campus at any time.

Dani Espinoza, an environmental studies sophomore, said she thinks establishing an emergency procedure during the first week of classes would be the most effective way to educate students on this matter.

“When it’s syllabus week, just go over [campus safety] so students have that information,” Espinoza said. “It doesn’t even have to be drills, just having that information and knowing where to go.”

Espinoza said she would feel safer on campus if this was required.

The Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) is a program at Texas State found in Encino Hall that provides active shooter training courses. These are not required for students or faculty.

Larry Balding, External Relations Director of ALERRT, said students should receive the information they need in case of an active shooter during New Student Orientation, to ensure they hear the information at least one time.

“I would say to the [University Police Department], ‘Do you not think that it would be beneficial to have a drill at least once a year?’,” Balding said. “I would do drills during freshman orientation. That would be a great time to tell freshman at least to make them aware of what to do. Hiding under your desk isn’t going to do anything.”

The university must take measures to educate its students and faculty to prepare them in case there is an active shooting on campus.

-Emma Hall is a journalism sophomore

The University Star welcomes Letters to the Editor from its readers. All submissions are reviewed and considered by the Editor in Chief and Opinions Editor for publication. Not all letters are guaranteed for publication.

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