Cameron University Prepared For Numerous Emergency Situations
Last week, The University of Oklahoma (OU) faced a possible active shooter situation. However, this was proven to be a sigh of relief for many Oklahomans and the students, faculty and staff at OU as the culprit was a piece of construction equipment that backfired. University President David Boren stated that even though no shooter was found on the Norman campus, faculty and safety officials reacted in a timely matter to assure the safety of students.
What if the situation were to hit closer to home like Cameron University?
Cameron University's Emergency Preparedness Guide informs students how to prepare for different emergencies such as Fires, Severe Weather, Explosions, Gas Leaks, Suspicious Items, Bombs and Active shooters.
Josh Lehman, Senior Director of Public Affairs for Cameron, states that with these measures and plans, student safety is the number one priority.
"We have one main emergency communication system through Blackboard, it's configured to send messages to students, faculty and staff via phone, text message and email," Lehman said. "We also utilize social media; we have an official Twitter and Facebook page where will post messages as well post emergency messages on the front page of Cameron University's website."
Lehman states that for students and faculty, they can enter three different phone numbers and the emergency email notifications have a default setting to be sent to the student's Cameron email. Students are allowed to add another email to the list for emergency notifications.
"We also have a desktop notification system that we can utilize during the class day for anyone that is connected to the Cameron network," Lehman said.
According to the Emergency Preparedness Guide, if a situation of an active shooter were to come on campus and is located outside the building, students are to proceed to a room that can be locked. Once the room is secure, students, faculty and staff are to turn the lights off and get down to where no one is visible if the shooter were to enter the building. Someone is to then notify the campus police to notify them of the situation, this is to be done through the campus phone or a cell phone. After those steps it is recommended that no one moves or leaves the locked room until police or a known campus administrator gives an all clear.
No matter what the circumstances are; if fleeing is an option, it is advised you do not carry anything with you. Keep your hands visible and follow the instructions of any police officer. It is also advised that you do not try to help anyone that is wounded, instead make a note of their location and let the authorities know.
Cameron University also has an outdoor speaker system to notify students on campus of an emergency situation if their web-based emergency notification system were to fail.
With severe weather and the upcoming tornado season, Cameron has designated tornado safety areas on campus.
Lehman states that when severe weather is a potential threat for university operations, they look into a number of factors before sending the message that Cameron will be closed or have an opening delay.
The university will investigate the conditions of their roads and sidewalks as well confer with the City of Lawton about road conditions throughout the day. In the event of a opening day or closing delay, Lehman states that faculty, staff and students are to put personal safety in account before making the drive to campus during the event of severe weather.
According to Lehman, Cameron performs a test on their emergency communication systems twice a year. These tests occur when the fall and spring semester have started. Students and faculty are notified weeks in advance when the test will take place.
Across campus there are also Emergency Assistance boxes scattered around the grounds. These boxes are a direct line to Cameron police and are to be used for immediate assistance in the event of an emergency.
Cameron University is prepared and will take all the necessary actions needed to assure that students have a safe environment to learn in.