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Resolution 002 passes

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Resolution 002 passes

SGA passed a new resolution to make students feel safer on campus.

SGA passed a new resolution to make students feel safer on campus.

Briana Cunningham

SGA passed a new resolution to make students feel safer on campus.

Briana Cunningham

Briana Cunningham

SGA passed a new resolution to make students feel safer on campus.

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SGA passed a resolution calling for an updated active shooter preparedness plan in their Monday, March 5 meeting. The resolution proposes a partnership with the University of South Alabama Police Department and it seeks to make students feel safe, according to the document.

The resolution came after news of mass shootings occurring at schools and colleges.

“Mass shootings across school campuses have fostered fear in the hearts of many students,” SGA President Carl Thomas Jr. said. “It is an issue we continue to see in our nation and in the city of Mobile. We want our students to know that our university is adequately prepared and well-equipped. The purpose of the [resolution] is to bridge the gap between the USAPD and SGA to brainstorm and contribute ideas, programming and opportunities for collaboration to make our students feel more secure.”

Thomas said the resolution was, “more of a nudge,” for the university to strengthen the current active shooter preparedness plan.

Thomas is optimistic the resolution will reassure students concerned about their safety.

“In my opinion, I believe this plan will show students that the university is continually making steps to make our campus a safer place,” Thomas said.

If updated, the plan will only be known by the police.

“For safety reasons, students, faculty and staff are not allowed to know what the plan consists of,” Thomas said.

Zeke Aull, chief of the USAPD, shared some information regarding how the police will respond in the event of an emergency.

“All of our officers are trained to respond to active shooters,” Aull said. “It’s called rapid response deployment. If there is an active shooter, law enforcement will be charged with being deployed into that building and addressing the shooter. Now, why would they do that? Because every second we are not responding, someone is being shot.”

In the event there is an active shooter situation, students will be notified immediately, according to Aull. Thomas recommended several ways students can protect themselves in an emergency.

“To be prepared in an active shooter situation, students need to make sure they listen out for the alarm system and keep a close eye on student email accounts,” Thomas said.

In addition, USAPD has a special program to teach students safety in a dangerous situation.

“We have a program called ‘Don’t Cancel That Class,” said Aull. “Faculty members have lives; they have to cancel class for various reasons. So, what we’ve asked them to do is, instead of cancelling, let us come in and do active shooter training. We have something called ‘Shots Fired on Campus.’ It’s a DVD that we show and talk about what to do if we have an active shooter. The mind-set behind it is, if we can start making people think about what to do if we have a situation, then that saves lives.”

In the event of an emergency, the USAPD phone number is 251-460- 6312 to call and 251-219-0219 to text. Their anonymous tip line is 251-460-6667.

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Resolution 002 passes