The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

We support UNK’s incident prevention measures for campus safety

Students need access keys to enter certain buildings at night. Photo by Nate Lilla / Antelope Staff

Students begin the new semester with a shadow hanging over their heads. We listen to the news channel and cringe to hear about another school shooting. The next time we go into class, we look for escape routes, just in case. The loud click of a door sounds differently. We grow up in a way we never thought we would have to in college.  

The violence of last year seems to have shifted into the new year. According to Education Week, there were 51 school shootings in 2022; the most in a year since tracking began in 2018. With the rising violence, UNK is committed to enforcing preventative measures to guard students’ safety. 

In the past, buildings on campus were left unlocked after hours. Now, students must either get permission from faculty, or a Blue Pass from UNK PD to access certain buildings after hours. Buildings that require card access are West Center, the Fine Arts Building, Bruner Hall of Science and residence halls. Academic and administrative buildings remain unlocked, yet will soon close at specific times. 

Surveillance has seemed to improve on campus. Student senate brought up how campus needs more security cameras in a meeting in November. UNK Facilities is in the process of installing them in CTE/W, Bruner Hall of Science and the Calvin T. Ryan Library.  Jim Davis, UNK Police chief, says there are plans for installing cameras near Cope Stadium and the parking lot near its entrance, Lot 12.  

Davis is working to provide a new self-defense class for students. He plans on creating a class led by UNK police officers with strategies from different police trainings. This class would encourage students to practice these strategies, even after college. 

Administration is evaluating how students’ mental health needs to be monitored for any signs of distress.

John Falconer, senior adviser to the chancellor, gathered faculty for a threat assessment talk at UNK on Jan. 25. The talk was led by Mario Scalora, a professor of psychology at UNL. According to UNL’s Department of Psychology page, Scalora collaborates with law enforcement to research assessing predictive risk factors concerning violent activity. Scalora is an advisor for the threat assessment teams in the Nebraska university system, including UNK. 

We view this talk as an effective way to understand possible violent trends and prevent them from happening at UNK.

Wendy Schardt, director of Student Health and Counseling, believes the UNK Concerning and Risky Events team is a starting point for preventative measures. The CARE team is a group of faculty members that review student referrals. Referrals may include a student who is acting distressed or showing concerning behavior. The team works to find solutions for the well-being of the student and campus.

The Antelope staff is relieved to know these preventative measures are active. Yet, there are some policies that could better inform students about active shooter procedures. 

We think there should be a gun violence seminar for freshman orientation. Davis says he would be glad to host a bagged lunch conversation for students that want more information about preventative procedures. 

UNK could remind older students about active shooter procedures by adding it to class syllabuses. Professors already put lots of information such as Title IX into syllabuses. Including active shooter protocols would give students another required reading. This addition would better prepare new students and those who have been at UNK for a couple of years. 

School is a place where no one should ever feel scared, and we appreciate UNK working towards fulfilling that belief. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (0)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *