Ohio State shooting : campus security under question

College Campus

The Ohio State shooting highlights the challenges of keeping students safe on campus. Image from Flickr.

Students at Ohio State woke up this morning to news of yet another shooting, this time on their own campus. CNN reports that the 51-year old custodial worker Nathaniel Brown is responsible for the Ohio State Shooting. Students, many of whom are paying for tuition with a low rate personal loan, are attending classes today.

Ohio State University shooter was unhappy at work

Much like the University of Alabama shooting in February, the Ohio State shooting is theorized to be the result of an unhappy employee. Nathaniel Brown had recently received a negative performance review and was on probation. His manager was killed in the attack, and an operations shift leader was also injured and is now in stable condition. The attack happened at 3:30 am, when there were very few people in the building and most students were asleep. The attack appears to have been very targeted at the Ohio State University employee’s supervisors.

Ohio State University emergency alert system

On Sunday, the Ohio State University student newspaper, The Lantern, published an campus news piece about the “opt-in” alert system for alerting Ohio State students of crimes. When the system was created, students had to opt in to receive the alerts, though officials are now considering making the system opt-out instead. In a single week, three separate major crimes were announced through this system. By informing students, Ohio State University is hoping that students will be able to help keep themselves and the campus safer.

Keeping college students safe

The Ohio State shooting raises larger questions, too, about how to inform college students of emergencies. Most college campuses are very spread-out, sometimes with hundreds of thousands of students over campuses that are several square miles. Alerting students on campuses like Ohio State’s of emergencies can be difficult. Some campuses still use loudspeaker systems, while others are turning to text messages, emails, and website announcements. No matter what the system, it is becomingly increasingly important that all people on a campus are informed as quickly as possible of emergency situations and crimes. Keeping any campus safe is difficult – balancing the needs of student freedom and campus safety even more so. While some would like to see military loans of personnel at every campus, having an informed and prepared student body is a much more realistic step towards keeping college students safe.

Other recent posts by bryanh