By The Gatepost Editorial Board
The Dean of Students released a safety bulletin to the campus community on Oct. 14 regarding a shooting in the Maynard Parking Lot behind West Hall Oct. 12.
As the campus community waits for the investigation to be completed and a suspect to be identified, it is important for everyone to remain calm.
The University Police and members of the administration have assured us there is not an ongoing threat to the community.
Framingham State is a safe campus in a safe area of the MetroWest region. We have no reason to believe this was not an isolated incident.
However, we understand why some students may feel unsettled or be on high alert as the investigation continues because details have not been disclosed in order to avoid compromising the case.
Furthermore, incidents such as this do not happen every day on college campuses.
Also, some may ask why the news of the incident was not delivered to the campus community sooner.
According to Deputy Chief Marty Laughlin, University Police did not want to release the information until all of the accurate information had been collected, and the instance of the shooting posing an active threat to the community had passed.
In this instance, The Gatepost accepts this reasoning for a delay in communication.
There are systems in place to keep us safe every day.
Following the discovery of a bullet casing by two students, the University Police responded quickly, investigating the scene of the discharge and questioning student desk attendants and other students.
Additionally, they have performed periodic checks over the past week with SDAs to confirm that they are OK, and to ask them if they have seen any suspicious activity. The University Police normally patrols the campus on foot and in cruisers 24/7, but described their recent measures as heightening security.
The Gatepost thanks University Police for taking these necessary steps to ensure students feel safe following this anxiety-provoking news.
On the other hand, on a small college campus, it is our responsibility to have each other’s backs. We are all interconnected as we share ideas and cultures and engage in learning, but it is also critical to keep one another safe.
The best way to protect one another is to be aware of suspicious activity and to report it to the University Police.
If a student is feeling unsafe, the University Police can be reached in an emergency by using one of the blue light boxes strategically placed around campus. They are mid-height blue pillars with the word “emergency” on them.
These allow students to contact University Police by simply pressing a button. Additionally, students can make use of a police safety escort service through the blue boxes for traveling back to their residence halls or vehicle, if no other options are available.
These blue-light emergency boxes are outside every residence hall, on the left side of Dwight Hall, and in front of the Honors House, among other places.
Members of the community can also contact University Police anonymously by texting the words FSUTIP to 67283. If members of the community have information they need to share with FSU Police, but would prefer to remain anonymous, this provides a means of two-way communication in which the tipster’s vicinity and identity is not identified.
Additionally, if students are uncomfortable speaking to University Police, they should know that relevant information they share with department chairs, resident assistants, and administrators must be reported to University Police because they are mandated reporters.
Use these people as resources during times of concern.
When there is suspicious activity happening on campus, don’t ignore it until it is too late or assume someone else has reported it already.
When there is suspicious activity happening on campus, it is the responsibility of all of us to report it and protect each other.
See something, say something.