Active shooter workshop aids in campus safety

On Feb. 17, the Oakland University Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) presented the “Active Shooter on Campus” workshop as part three of four in their annual “Creating a Safe Campus” series. This workshop was among others facilitated by OUPD Chief of Police Mark Gordon and lasted approximately one hour and thirty minutes.

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning is a professional development center dedicated to full and part-time professional staff to improve support for every teaching and learning environment in order to prevent issues in the classroom through workshops and training programs.

“We’ve brought the series back due to an increase of classroom instability and behavior concerns from students with needs for special accommodations, stress and issues with social skills,” Judy Ablesser, director of Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, said. 

The “Active Shooter on Campus” workshop is available to faculty, staff and graduate students so that they may have the tools to help support students in their learning environment. These will allow them to become aware in order to identify and prevent extreme behaviors like these.

Oakland University has worked to make these tools available as a result of an increase in extreme behavior and active shooter situations nationwide over the last twenty years. Holding workshops and other safety series provide a way to determine the best practices for dealing with active shooter situations.

“This ‘lunch and learn’ activity is centered on a 22-minute video that campus security and police departments started showing to their faculty and staff on how to deal with extreme behavior situations,” Gordon said. “It’s not specific to Oakland University, however it provides a great demonstration about the three options individuals have when faced with this situation… get out, hide out or take out.”

These programs ensure that faculty and staff are engaged and equipped with the necessary tools for identifying a plan of action in any specific environment such as classrooms or other campus buildings. Additionally, part of this event allowed those in attendance to address and discuss the topic of including these extreme safety plans in their syllabus, similar to the ways fire and extreme weather procedures are included, as a way to keep students informed in worst-case scenarios.

“These are great tools because of how important it is to get the word out and be prepared to react in any situation,” Gordon said. “These programs allow us to create life-saving strategies that can be used in life-threatening situations. It is essential to have a plan to fall back on because people aren’t always thinking clearly in a high-stress situation.”

OUPD and Chief Gordon have been involved in facilitating six of these workshops since the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, in addition to over 120 presentations since the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007.

For more information about campus safety and other workshops through the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning contact Judy Ablesser or visit their office in 200A Elliott Hall.