“I can’t imagine, particularly after Virginia Tech or Newtown or this one, any professor has not thought about this,” Robinson said. “Am I protecting my students? What would I do if there were a gunman in my building?”
Randy Young, spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety, said UNC has preparations in place if such an incident were to happen on campus.
“Once we identify this as a threat to the safety of the campus community, the sirens would alert the campus,” Young said. “The Alert Carolina system would be activated concurrent with our response.”
DPS members have conversations and run training drills with the Chapel Hill and Carrboro Police Departments and UNC hospital police, among other agencies. Out of the last four drills conducted on campus, three were in response to an active shooter.
“Sometimes at these discussions and tabletops, we would look at possibly things that have happened to other universities and we’d study them,” Young said. “We’d talk about how we would respond if something similar occurred here.”
Junior Abigail Parlier said campus shootings at other universities only heighten her fear for her safety at UNC.
“As a woman, I’m typically super hyperaware of my safety on campus but when events like this happen and nothing is done about it, it makes me more nervous,” she said.
There are resources for those who want to feel more prepared in case a situation were to occur on campus. DPS offers a video presentation upon request, Young said. Young said the video offers techniques to keep potential victims as safe as possible. It has been requested by faculty and student groups alike.
“If anyone sees suspicious behavior on the University (campus), we would ask that folks call 911 to report an emergency,” Young said. “It’s better to have a police response and not need it than to need one and not have called.
Rave Guardian, a free app, is another resource available to both students and faculty on campus. Through it, users can send pictures or text tips straight to the Department of Public Safety if they are in a situation where they cannot call.