Members of the Shippensburg University community discussed gun violence Thursday evening during Alpha Phi Alpha’s “End Gun Violence” forum. It was the fourth event of the fraternity’s Alpha Week.
Officer Julie Clark, who has 18 years of experience with the Shippensburg University Police Department, talked about the necessary actions to take when faced with a situation involving a shooter.
“Run if you can, hide if you must, and fight if you have to,” Clark said.
Clark explained the potential reality of a shooting happening in Shippensburg.
“Shippensburg is just as susceptible as any other place, and in this day and age if someone wants a weapon they will find access to a weapon,” she said.
Clark shared tips to prepare for a situation like having an active shooter.
“Give yourself an extra 10-15 minutes to come to class and take a different route. In the event of an emergency this will give your brain extra options with where to go,” Clark said.
It is also important to have a survival mindset, Clark said.
One audience member asked Clark her thoughts on whether or not professors should be armed.
Clark explained her concern for the measure. “I have a lot of personal hesitation with doing something like that,” Clark said. “Even with 25 years of experience with shooting firearms, a situation like this with fast-moving targets is a very high-stress situation and I would be worried about civilians making those decisions.”
After Clark spoke, the “Back-To-School Sandy Hook Promise” commercial was played. The recently released commercial portrays kids using common back-to-school items as weapons and supplies needed in the event of a shooting.
The commercial ends with a girl hiding in a bathroom stall texting “I love you,” to her mother.
According to senior Deanna Hatcher, there has been 25 mass shootings where the range of deaths vary from 10-60 each, since the beginning of 2019 .
Senior and Alpha Phi Alpha member Anthony Tarpeh said, “We hope this event will educate students on the safety measures we have on campus and what to do in case of a mass shooting happening on campus.”