OUR VIEW: Middle ground is most secure for USU
An Editorial Opinion
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 13:02
Lately, reading the news seems to hurt. Even for a group of college journalists who pride themselves on being stoic, when we’re constantly bombarded with news about violence at US colleges, it gives us reason to stop and reconsider what we believe about campus safety.
When a student hears about a particular violent act, whether it be a shooting or a bomb threat, we’ve noticed their reaction often falls into one of two categories.
First, there are the deniers. It’s easy to say it won’t happen to us. After all, it’s Cache Valley, where even the worst tragedies seem to be unpreventable accidents. There’s no need to put any laws, rules or changes into place because USU is safe as it is.
We’ll call the second group the cautionaries. Students need to be kept safe at any cost, they say, so no weapons should be allowed on campus, ever. The Second Amendment is outdated, and there’s no reason for somebody in the middle of a city to have a gun. After all, people only use guns to hunt animals, right? Well, I can buy my food at the grocery store, thank you very much.
Just a note: We realize many people don’t fall into one of these areas exclusively. We’re just parroting back a trend we’ve noticed.
Just as there are people on all sides of the spectrum around campus, at The Statesman office we fall on both sides of the issue. Despite this, we can come to an agreement on one thing: There’s no single solution. We also understand ever-increasing burden for USU administration to solve a problem that hasn’t happened yet. But we feel there should be some important considerations taken if campus security is to increase.
First: Any decisions about our safety should lie in the hands of our own administration. This is what we pay them for. Although much debate is happening at a federal level, the men in Washington, D.C. don’t always understand that what we need may be different from what the University of Florida needs.
Second: Students have a right to feel safe. Some student’s means of feeling safe are different than others, and this needs to be taken into consideration.
Third: Teaching is the most important method of control. Showing students how to defend themselves can prevent tragedy. Sending employees to workplace violence training may help them save a student someday. It’s not foolproof, but it is a step that those on both sides of the issue can come to compromise on.
As violence increases across the nation, let’s not wait for it to catch up with us. We can’t predict the whens and wheres of campus violence, but we can be prepared.