In an effort to continue conversations spurred after the Walkout Against Gun Violence held on March 14, the Pacific University Undergraduate Student Senate (USS) will host an open forum on campus security and safety on April 10, at 11:30 a.m. in the University Center lounge.
USS members feel the forum will be a suitable follow-up to topics brought up during the walkout and plan to cover information on active shooters, how to identify warning signs in suspicious individuals and what protocols students should follow in the case of an active shooter event on campus.
Students will also learn how to contact administrators and official when they feel worried about their safety on campus.
Campus Public Safety (CPS) and the Student Counseling Center will take center stage at the forum, providing students the opportunity to directly consult their most relevant sources for this issue.
According to USS Advisor Steve Klein, student input is paramount to safety and security on campus.
“Anytime students have a good idea or can make our campus safer, they shouldn’t hold back,” Klein said. “We strive to be a cohesive community. We don’t want students to come into a place where they feel threatened or scared.”
USS executive members hope the forum will provide students and departments with a space to voice their opinions about the issue of gun control.
The Director of the Student Counseling Center Robin Keillor hopes conversation during the forum can also dispel any misunderstandings or stigmas people may have regarding mental illness.
“There is a lot of stigma around mental health and the assumption that all this violence is coming as a result of mental illness,” Keillor said. “We want to try and put this to rest because it also develops more of a stigma and fear of people with mental illness condition, which is not healthy for our community.”
Following the forum, USS hopes to create a website or link with information for students who are unable to attend the event. USS is also working with CPS to create a map for students to help them locate emergency phones stationed around campus.