Possible gun threat leaves students afraid

Erica Santiago / Opinion Director


On Wednesday, Sept. 2, a frightening disturbance occurred at the Wolfe University Center that still leaves students shaken to this day.
After a heated exchange between a student and someone in the WUC game room, said student irritably left the room after threatening to come back “with a strap” – also known as a firearm.
The University police were alerted of the incident and evacuated the room shortly after. The doors to the game room were then locked as a safety measure.
Later that evening, the student returned and unsuccessfully demanded to be let in. He was gone by the time campus authorities arrived; as a precautionary measure, all students and faculty were escorted into their vehicles.  
The student was eventually identified and later apprehended by Miami-Dade police. As of right now there are conflicting stories as to whether or not a gun was ever actually involved. Though the situation seems to be resolved, there are still some lingering issues that need to be addressed.
Many students are distraught by the fact that an FIU Alert was never sent out to students or faculty. In the past, FIU Alert has warned students about cases of sexual harassment, dangerous trespassers and many other important occurrences – all with the purpose of keeping students informed and to ensure their safety. The lack of notifications in reference to the WUC incident has led to some speculation as to what disturbances qualify for an alert. It also begs the question as to whether or not the system has failed to alert students of other potential dangers on campus.
Despite the shortcomings of the FIU Alert system, one notion remains unwavering – student safety is and must continue to be the University’s main priority.
This brings us to the second lingering issue in the wake of the incident – many students who witnessed the altercation in the game room first hand are too afraid to speak out because they fear that doing so will jeopardize their safety.
Those fears are completely understandable but potentially dangerous situations like the one at WUC give even more cause for students to speak out. By speaking out as a student, you are not only helping your fellow scholars in staying informed but you are also giving the University a major incentive to take these issues more seriously.
Like every university, FIU knows that a major key in maintaining this institution is maintaining the comfort and well-being of its students. This is because more students are likely to want to stay enrolled at a University that prioritizes the safety of its scholars. If students don’t feel safe, they will most likely not want to stay enrolled. This means fewer students enrolled at FIU will lead to a monetary loss for the University.
If students are vocal about potential dangers on campus the University will have no choice but to take note and do everything in its power to avoid a similar incident in the future.
As students we owe it to ourselves and to our colleagues to speak up when there is danger on campus. Our voices have the power to inform, to ensure the safety of our community and, most importantly, to implement change. To not speak up is to remain passive. To remain passive is to further jeopardize our own safety.

Be the first to comment on "Possible gun threat leaves students afraid"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.