On Oct. 1, a student opened fire in an Oregon Community College classroom. Eight days later, two other college campuses experienced shootings—Northern Arizona University and Texas Southern University. The latter were not considered mass shootings.
News outlets, such as The New York Times, The Huffington Post and BBC, have been following the story as people who were involved publicly share their opinions and experiences of the story.
There have also been stories on what colleges are doing to protect their campuses and how they will prepare for an incident such as a shooting.
Students at Mercyhurst University are acknowledging that bad things happen, and they could happen on the Mercyhurst campus, as well.
When asked whether or not he believes a shooting could take place on campus, Intelligence Studies major Alex Dorado responded, “Definitely. My freshman year, there was a man who shot himself on campus. It hit home that stuff like this can happen anywhere.”
“It especially hit home because I looked more into it, and the person who did it was a person who posted on a website. You can go see the thread where he posted that he was going to shoot up the school. It’s just unnerving, seeing someone basically premeditate that, tell a bunch of people that and have those people be like yeah go do it. I think at the time they were being sarcastic, they didn’t know he’d actually go do it,” Dorado said.
Criminal Justice major Joe Waidl raised concerns about security in the Mercyhurst community.
“It made me feel like it could happen here. It kind of scared me a little bit,” Waidl said.
Criminal justice major Jimmy Duncan expressed similar concerns.
“I was shocked to hear that another school shooting happened, but personally I feel like school shootings are having less of an effect on people. It wasn’t as shocking as other school shootings. We are becoming desensitized to school shootings, which is sad. This could definitely happen at Mercyhurst. I’m glad Police and Safety is armed, because I do feel a lot safer, especially being a criminal justice student,” Duncan said.
Communication and English major Marina Coletta also mentioned the shooting that took place on campus two years ago, stating she was shocked to hear about it.
“It made me feel unsafe considering it was in the center of campus. The only person who got hurt was the shooter himself, but it was still upsetting,” Coletta said.
She went on to explain how she did not feel personally affected by the shootings in Oregon, Arizona and Texas.
“They were surprising to hear about. However, considering the frequency of school shootings, it’s less of a shock. During Columbine it was unfathomable that something like that could happen on a school campus. Shootings today are so sad, but people have to move on and brace themselves for the next shooting. It is difficult to be affected emotionally due to the distance of the school and the frequency of school shootings,” Coletta said.
Coletta ended with the succinct statement that, “No school is immune to school shootings.”