The University of St. Thomas is continuously educating our students, faculty and staff to work towards a safe campus community.
In a case where there is an active shooter on campus, the university subscribes to the “Run. Hide. Fight.” model touted by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
The terms are simple. If you encounter an active shooter:
Attempt to escape.
Leave your belongings.
Keep your hands visible.
If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide outside the shooter’s view.
Lock and blockade doors.
Silence phones and other noisemakers.
Fight as a last resort if your life is in danger.
Attempt to incapacitate the shooter.
Yell, act aggressively, throw items or improvise with possible weapons.
“Your No. 1 goal is to protect yourself. If you can help others without putting yourself in harm’s way, please do so,” Meuwissen said. “As soon as you are safe, notify Public Safety or call 911.”
Stay informed and prepared
In the event of any campus emergency where there is imminent danger to the community, including an active shooter, all students, as well as faculty and staff who have opted in, will receive a UST ALERT notification via text, phone call and email. Updates from the emergency alert system will also appear on the university’s website and the university’s profiles on Facebook and Twitter. Faculty and staff can sign up to receive UST ALERT notifications here.
In addition to subscribing to emergency notifications, Public Safety recommends that all administrative offices and academic departments have safety plans in place. Here is an example of a safety plan from the Division of Student Affairs (PDF).
“Although violence and active shooters are unpredictable, you can help prepare yourself by knowing where the exits are in the buildings you frequent, developing a safety plan in your office and preparing yourself on how to respond if your life is being threatened,” Lange said.
Intervention and prevention
To prevent such instances from occurring with an individual from within the St. Thomas community, the university provides a number of resources and training opportunities promoting early intervention and support.
The UST CARES website provides resources to assist with emergencies, student-related concerns and students in crisis.
Faculty and staff can access the UST CARES Purple Folder, which lists resources and tips for helping students in crisis.
The University Action and Response Team, which has members from the president’s staff, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Public Safety and University Relations, trains regularly on emergency response to many types of incidents, including active shooters.
Public Safety staff train regularly with local police.
It is important to understand that active shooters can come from outside the St. Thomas community as well. No matter who the shooter is, if the situation should occur, everyone is encouraged to run, hide or fight.
During an emergency, the St. Thomas Office of Public Safety can be reached at (651) 962-5555.
To read the latest alerts, advisories and bulletins, as well as UST ALERT notifications, follow St. Thomas Public Safety on Twitter.