Students react to shooting threat

Samantha Forester

Students react to shooting threat from MWSU Campus Watch on Vimeo.

Students had mixed feelings about the way different departments at the university handled the shooting threat made against the campus on the night of February 9. From mishaps on the university’s social media outlets to campus police conducting an investigation, students and faculty were faced with a situation that hasn’t happened this close to home.

“I was just shocked at first. This is small town. I came here for tranquility I did not come here for craziness. You never expect it to be your school,” Brianna Hatcher said.

Junior spanish student Brianna Hatcher lives in the dorms and chose to leave the campus on the night of the threat to stay at a friend’s home. The next morning Hatcher said she had to make a decision on whether to attend class or not. A decision she said she should not have been forced to make.

“You’re not safe on any given day. No one can promise you that. But especially in a case where there is a threat like that I felt like I had to choose between my own safety and going to class. I felt like because they didn’t cancel class they put students in that positions. I didn’t really like that, but over all I understand it was a sticky situation,” Hatcher said.

Junior marketing student, Chris Portillo had mixed feelings about how things were handled by the university but said campus police rose to the occasion.

“I feel the Midwestern State police did the best to their abilities to make sure we’re safe. That’s what they’re here for to make sure our safety is their number one concern,” Portillo said. “I fell like the university tweeting it the first time and then I think they deleted some tweets. I feel like that was uncalled for.”

Police chief, Dan Williams said he understood the students concerns about wanting information, but in investigations like these he said there’s only so much they can give out.

“In these situations we’re going to try and release information, people have to understand we’re not going to release everything we know. Sometimes that upsets people so there’s a good and a bad,” Williams said.

A stipulation Portillo said he understands.

“They were doing their investigation so obviously they’re not going to give us a play by play, but they gave us certain details we needed to know,” Portillo said.

Once the police department determined there was no immediate threat to the campus, Hatcher said she wishes more information was released to the students.

“This is your life, this is your safety. That’s not something you take lightly or that you just get over. But definitely information would have helped especially when people started saying it was a hoax. OK, can I have a story? Can I have some kind of explanation as to appease my fears? Because I’m thinking I walk outside and I’m looking around every corner and I don’t want to have to feel like that, I need to know what happened,” Hatcher said.

The investigation is still ongoing, but university officials say the campus is safe. But the events that played out during that week have put things into perspective for students.

“It was just disbelief. I was appalled. I can’t find a better way to describe it than that. It’s an indescribable feeling, I actually felt afraid and that was new for the first time. You’re not supposed to feel afraid at school. You’re not supposed to feel afraid in your home. But when that comes up, it’s indescribable,” Hatcher said.

CLICK HERE to read, “Officials rule campus safe; campus police find ‘no imminent threat’”