Erin Han | The Poly Post

CPP students reminded of a constant fear following Michigan State University shooting

By Erin Han, Feb. 28, 2023

CPP students are shaken by yet another deadly mass shooting in America, this time at Michigan State University where a gunman opened fire killing three students and leaving five critically injured, before dying from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  

A boulder on MSU’s campus known as The Rock – which serves as a meeting place and billboard of free expression for students – was spray painted the following day to read, “How many more?” The Rock now serves as a makeshift memorial for students to gather and honor victims.  

The school shooting comes less than a month after a mass shooting at a dance studio in Monterey Park, local to CPP students. 

“Active shooter incidents are very rare, but they are very important,” said University Police Chief Linh Dinh. “It’s a matter of educating folks on how to respond to an active shooter just so that they have that background knowledge to then put it into an exercise.” 

Although rare, the number of school shootings in the United States reached an unprecedented high in 2021 and 2022. Three-hundred and three incidents of gun violence on U.S. campuses occurred in 2022 alone, a record high. Fifty-three incidents have occurred in 2023 so far.  

Engineering student Valeria Berrospid said she has become somewhat desensitized to media coverage of school shootings because of how often it is shown and appears to occur.  

“Even though we still feel the emotions and we see it happening, sometimes I’ll see it on TV and just think, ‘oh, it’s another one,’” said Berrospid. “I think it’s great that it’s being brought into awareness, but I do want it to actually make a difference.”  

Erin Han | The Poly Post

Berrospid said students should further advocate for gun control and that activism is necessary for change. 

“Activism is definitely effective and there’s so many politics involved in gun control,” said psychology student Lica Garcia. “I believe we need more gun control, but at this point, I don’t know if it will ever actually work in this country.” 

Garcia said that school shootings have instilled a collective fear among people of her generation.  

“We see it so often and it seems to be happening like every week or every few weeks,” said Garcia. “It is traumatizing and is causing fear among students, because it’s occurring on school campuses, which is really scary.” 

Dinh said the California State University system supports the run, hide, fight procedure and he encourages students to be educated about the proper protocol in the event of an active shooter on campus.  

Run, refers to getting out of the area and to a safe place.  

“If we hear gunshots or we hear explosions or noises, you know, unsettling noises, we want to try to escape, separate ourselves, distance ourselves from the source of the commotion,” said Dinh.  

According to Dinh, if running is not an option, the next step of the procedure is to hide. This means turning off lights, silencing cell phones and trying to find a safe area to shelter in place.  

If running and hiding is exhausted or not an option, the third part of the procedure is to fight.  

“If an active assailant or active shooter makes it into your location, your option is to fight them,” said Dinh. “Throwing objects at them, distracting them, making noise, you know, just doing enough to provide that window to where you could escape or overcome the assailant.” 

While in high school, Berrospid was taught the run, hide, fight procedure, which helped her be more vigilant and informed on what she would do in that situation.  

“It will depend on the situation, like if they’re in the classroom, maybe just trying to hide and if they’re too close, just attack them,” said Berrospid.  

Dinh said all officers are required by the Chancellor’s Office to complete active shooter training on a regular basis in order to have the necessary tactics and tools to address and respond to active shooter emergencies.  

Emergency Management has an instructional video for the run, hide, fight procedure on CPP’s website. Personal safety, active shooter response and other types of training is also provided by request through UPD and Emergency Management.   

Feature image by Erin Han

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