Campus community raises concerns of safety in buildings

(Dalton Runberg/The Collegian)

Two weeks ago, the Fresno State community was shaken by a shooting threat on campus.

After a suspect posted the threat on social media, campus police were able to track him down immediately, and the threat was averted without any serious damage.

Although police have been commended for handling the situation quickly, many questions have been raised in the days following the threat.

At a public forum held at Fresno State on Thursday, students and faculty raised concerns about the inability to lock doors from the inside, or even barricade doors because they open outward.

Amy Luna, Fresno State emergency operations manager, said it may take a while to update the facilities, but there’s already an active-shooter training program at Fresno State to prepare the community for emergency situations.

“Through the program we provide, Seconds 2 Survive, we teach you how to make everything work in your environment,” Luna said. “Doors are different. They swing differently. They open differently. They have different types of handles. So we go through those with you and ask you to tell us about your environment and what you might be able to do if you’re not able to lock the doors.”

The program, Seconds 2 Survive, is usually offered to faculty and students who request the training.

Following the recent threat at Fresno State, however, the university scheduled several training sessions for the campus community.

The schedule for the upcoming sessions can be found at

“In the training that we provide, we focus on what you have today,” Luna said. “Sometimes there’s not funding to go through and change all the locks. Sometimes that’s gonna take a long time to implement. So we focus our training on if it happened today and what’s in your environment right now. What would you be able to do? What tools do you have, and how can you use it? And then let’s practice it.”

At the forum on Thursday, faculty raised concerns about outdated facilities such as the lab school.

“Some buildings on campus are older, and they are in need of upgrades or in need of some changes, and I’m sure those improvements are welcome by all,” Luna said. “There’s usually a long process in implementing those changes, so we focus on what you can do today. We want you to walk away today, knowing what to do and how you can protect yourself.”

With buildings at various locations on campus and with doors varying from one another, the active-shooter training program strives to address the different circumstances.

“We customize it for departments so that it’s applicable to what their needs are,” Luna said. “This is a large campus and every building is different; every office space is different. So our goal is to help you identify what’s unique to your space and what your unique plan would be if there was an active shooter.”

Luna added that the emergency procedure at a university is different from high schools.

“In higher education and on college campuses, there are not any laws for lockdowns. And so facilities are not built that way,” Luna said. “We call it shelter in place. You would just stay inside, lock your doors, turn down your lights, those sorts of things. But lockdown is a term that’s used for K-12 schools.”

Luna said it’s important to be prepared for emergency situations before anything happens.

“Think about what your options are gonna be and have that plan in your head,” she said. “If you never think about what would I do if something happens, you tend to freeze and you don’t know what to do.”

The next Seconds 2 Survive session is scheduled for Nov. 30 at 9:30 a.m. in the Henry Madden Library Room 3212.

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