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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    A Lesson Not Learned

    Tragedies at schools, such as Columbine spark our memories of the infamous events of our recent past. But it is also times like these that rouse us to the importance of having our emergency forces both within the University and surrounding community.

    The Stony Brook administration has taken the lead in addressing the campus on the Virginia Tech Massacre, informing students, staff, and faculty about the safety measures that are in place here on campus. Essentially, they are attempting to quell concerns about the ‘what ifs’ in the event of a comparable disaster on our campus. It is true that measures are always in place for such an event, but they aren’t measures that are used on a routine basis. And what works in theory rarely plays out the same way in practice.

    Regardless of the preparedness, level of training, and overall cohesiveness of our police force, in a crisis situation, there will always be some uncertainty of how the system will work when it is needed the most.

    One way to alleviate some uncertainty is to continue to inform students, staff, and faculty about safety measures that are in place. Rather than just mentioning campus safety in an introductory freshman class, make it a point to remind individuals of campus safety measures every year of their education. Why stop at fire drills? Isn’t a complete safety drill called for at this point? The more we educate ourselves on safety measures on campus, the more vigilant we become, and the less common events such as the Virginia Tech massacre become.

    A greater question arises on how these incidents can occur in our academic institutions and how students respond to the malicious teasing or fun poking of by other students. The adage, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,’ no longer runs true in our generation. Words can hurt, and students easily obtain weapons as a means of defense.

    The massacre at V Tech was not the first of its kind in history, but it has won the honor of being the deadliest. Society has not addressed the greater issue of how to prevent such tragedies from occurring if possible. Some proponents suggest gun control or greater security measures at schools, yet the issue remains that our peers are turning to violence to solve these problems. Only continual reinforcement of safety measures on the part of the university can alter such perceptions. In these instances, it may be better to discipline us like kids than to treat us like independent adults.

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