By Shapleigh Webster – Copy Editor
It is 8:50 a.m. and I’ve just awaken for my 9:30 a.m. class. I roll over and hit the off button on my alarm and roll to the other side to check my phone. Two new text messages from Lasell…cancelled class hopefully? Actually, it was the exact opposite.
“Male intruder seen in Edwards Student Center. Follow emergency lockdown procedures now. More information to follow.”
“Lock/barricade doors where possible. Turn off lights. Shut blinds or pull shades down. Stay away from windows and doors.”
Looking back, I can’t possibly think I was alone in panicking at this time. After doing as instructed, I called my parents to let them know what was going on. They reassured me everything was going to be fine, but to be cautious, and to do as the school said.
While on the phone, my mind ran to my roommates, my classmates, and those who didn’t have the emergency text system, which I knew was a large portion of the school population. Where were they? Were they safe? Did they know what to do? Is my next class cancelled? What do I do? Do I stay here? Will they tell me?
I knew that I was relatively safe in my dorm, you need a key card to get into the building, a key into my suite, and a key into my room. One could not just walk in, but it didn’t cancel out my worry.
About five minutes after I got off the phone with my dad and followed the instructions the
school had requested, another text popped up, “This is a drill only. Repeating, drill only.”
The feelings following this text were mixed. Relief, anger, confusion. Why wait 10 minutes from the initial text to warn us this was a drill? Why wait until panic sets in, after we’ve all called our parents and each other? I was more outraged at the situation, not relieved.
What upset me and my peers the most, was the disorganization and lack of communication from administration. The confirmation text should have been one to two minutes after the first, not 10. The email we got about the drill should have been sent out immediately after, not six hours later.
According to The Boston Globe, nearly two dozen bomb threats have been recorded at schools across Eastern Massachusetts in this month alone, so I understand the need for these drills, and to say I don’t appreciate them, would be a lie. However, to instill actual panic amongst the community is unnecessary.
I can only hope going forward the Lasell administration and campus police will take these emotions into consideration. That maybe those with tightened anxiety might take these a little more seriously, that parents of children at the Barn might be a little more frightened, that professors teaching classes and responsible for 30 students might be a little more prepared.