Augustana University Weighs In On OSU Attack

The Director of Safety mimics the message: run, hide, fight

When events like the attack at Ohio State University happen, those in charge of security on school campuses across the nation reflect, thinking ‘what would we have done if this incident happened to us’.

At Augustana University, they say their response would be very similar to those in Columbus — with the first action being inform the students on what is happening.

Early Monday morning Ohio State University sent out a ‘buckeye alert’ saying there is an active shooter on campus.

“Within 2 minutes when the call comes into the dispatch, the expectation is that you get that information out,” says Augustana University Director of Campus Safety Rick Tupper.

While the information wasn’t right at this point, the suspect had a knife instead of a gun, Tupper says the alert did its job.

“I think it still got people’s attentions that there is a threat outside, you need to take shelter.”

He says the alert is exactly what Augie would have done if the incident happened here.

“You hit the emergency center and then it brings up a screen that lets you type whatever message you want,” says Tupper as he demonstrates how he gets an alert out.

Through the notification system, Tupper can send out a text message, voice message, email and tweet to students all at the same time.

“He’ll send out a notice of something we should do to avoid those circumstances, what we can do to defend ourselves that type of thing,” says senior Jacob Belgum.

Including what Ohio State University warned its students: run, hide, fight.

“Get as far away as you can,” says Tupper. “If you can’t do that then the next thing to do is to hide, barricade yourself, you’ll hear shelter in place. The last course is if it’s the last thing to keep yourself alive, know that you can physically and mentally defend yourself.”

Belgum says having this information is helpful in case something unpredictable happens.

“I believe that this is a safe place, as safe as it can be.”

He says the latest incident isn’t too much of a concern.

“When you hear so much, there’s only so much you can consume before you’re like alright on to the next.”

In terms of Augustana University staff, Tupper says he trains professors to analyze their classroom space.

If something happens, they need to how they would get students out, as well as how they would barricade them in.