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SGA focuses on safety

SGA encourages PNW to pass Active Shooter Video Requirement Act

SGA+passed+the+Active+Shooter+Video+Requirement+Act+on+Nov.+17%2C+signed+by+Daquan+Williams%2C+president.
SGA passed the Active Shooter Video Requirement Act on Nov. 17, signed by Daquan Williams, president.

SGA passed the Active Shooter Video Requirement Act on Nov. 17, signed by Daquan Williams, president.

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Photo provided.

SGA passed the Active Shooter Video Requirement Act on Nov. 17, signed by Daquan Williams, president.

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The Student Government Association wants the university to require all incoming freshmen to watch a safety video on what to do if a mass shooting occurs.

SGA unanimously passed the Active Shooter Video Requirement Act on Nov. 17 as the first step in encouraging the university to make the requirement. The video provides steps on what actions to take in an active shooter situation.

Daquan Williams, SGA president and junior communication major, signed the act.

Williams said that the shooter video should be seen by students.

“It’s sad in general that the mass shootings are happening, but they are and we should be ready,” Williams said.

Dustin Thibideau, SGA senator and sophomore political science major, was one of the bill sponsors for the act. He said that it is important for PNW to adopt the resolution because he wants students to be ready and proactive in the event an active shooter situation occurs.

“This video shows steps people can take to increase the likelihood they survive one of these events,” Thibideau said. “This is something I hope PNW never has to encounter, but being prepared and having some knowledge of what to do is important.”

Thibideau said that the idea to create the act came after the shooting in Las Vegas at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on Oct. 1. He reached out to Brian Miller, director of Public Safety, about active shooter response videos that students could view. Miller sent him the “Surviving an Active Shooter” video and said he wanted to make it a mandatory viewing for freshmen as well. Miller said that with his experience as an army veteran and police trainer, proper training is key in surviving a crisis situation.

“When a person is faced with extreme stress, they search their mind for past experiences, including training, that will help them in critical decision making and formulating an action plan,” Miller said. “Without training, many victims simply freeze and do nothing, which is detrimental to our survival.”

Thibideau said that the act has become important now more than ever because active shooter incidents are becoming more common. According to data from Mass Shooting Tracker, there has been 397 shootings so far in 2017.

“I want students to be ready to increase their chances of survival. God forbid an active shooter situation shall occur on either campus,” Thibideau said. “We have a great police force that practices responses to these types of incidents, but making this video required is another way to be proactive and can save lives.”

Thibideau said that the active shooter video should be shown in introduction freshmen classes to create a bigger impact.

“Having professors show the video and have classroom discussion afterward about this topic could have more of an impact than just making it individually mandatory,” Thibideau said.

The next step the SGA needs to take to help make the video become mandatory for freshmen is to first present the idea to the Faculty Senate. If the Faculty Senate approves, then it must be approved by Chancellor Thomas Keon. Thibideau said that SGA is hoping to present a proposal to the Faculty Senate in January after winter break.

Miller said that students, faculty and staff need to be prepared for any emergency.

It’s sad that we live in a world where we have to have discussions about active shooters and train for these types of events,” Miller said, “However, ‘I hope it never happens here’ is not an emergency preparedness plan. By proving relevant training and drills, we can empower our campus members to survive a crisis situation.”

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