Area College Campuses Plan for the Worst

By: Meredith Stancik Email
By: Meredith Stancik Email

The tragic shooting at Virginia Tech raises the question, how safe are our local college campuses?

News 3 wanted to know just how prepared the colleges are and how quickly they can get information to their faculty, staff and students.

"We don't have one magic bullet that would let us communicate with 50 or 60,000 people on campus at any one time not to mention those that are off campus or in transit, but we're working on ways to do that better," Chris Meyer with Texas A&M University said.

Current policy at Texas A&M says in the event of a crisis, the university would contact students by email, the university's website and by automated voice messages.

Officials at Blinn College in Brenham say they would do the same.

While Blinn College in Bryan says it would deploy their critical incident response team, which is staff trained to help during emergencies. Officials say emails would also be sent and their website updated.

Sam Houston State University says it also relies on technology.

"We may not be able to reach everyone, but we try to use a number of ways so that we can get the most people as soon as possible," Frank Krystyniak said.

In case of a campus crises, Sam Houston would use email and the university website to notify students. Dorms would also be locked down.

Prairie View A&M says it would also send emails, update their website and call residence halls.

But even though technology has aided campus communication, each college agrees no plan is fool-proof.

"You can't absolutely ensure safety on campus or off," Krystyniak said. "It's one of those unfortunate things that happens these days. We try the best we can and we're always thinking about that, but there's no absolute certainty."

All local colleges and universities say they are always searching for new ways to keep their campuses safer.

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