In 2012, 26 people were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary. Twenty of those victims were children no older than seven, and the other six were adult staff members. Since 2012, there have been 2,398 mass shootings in the United States. This year, so far, has had 25 U.S. mass shootings. Back-to-school shopping now includes picking up pencils, notebooks, and bulletproof backpacks to prepare for the year. This is just one of the many steps students have been taking to prepare for a shooting in their school. As for schools themselves, there are preventative measures being implemented, such as practice drills, to prepare themselves for situations better. Some of these measures are also in place at ENC.
According to the Safety and Security Department at Eastern Nazarene College, it is required for ENC staff members to go through training and learn the protocol for keeping students and faculty safe if there is a shooter on campus. At ENC, there are two different programs that help the community prepare for school shootings: ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) and Shots Fight on Campus. Shots Fight on Campus is a classroom-based training that does not involve any active participation. ALICE has classroom-style components to its training but also includes more practical active role-play of different scenarios. These programs are mandatory for staff and administration to learn.
Recently, these trainings have also been mandatory for the Resident Advisors of student dorms. This training is not required for students. Former Director of Security John Gelormini, states, “Any students that would like it on an individual basis or a small group basis, which we have done in the past, can come and make an appointment and I will do it for them.” He hoped it would become mandatory for students as well. Students are provided their program to stay vigilant and aware of what is happening on campus.
Another resource, which can be found on the main page of the ENC website, is E2 Campus. E2 Campus is a text subscription service where students and faculty can subscribe to different alerts ranging from weather alerts to a shooting situation on campus. Not many students are aware of this service, however, it would be helpful to make a subscription to the service mandatory upon enrollment at ENC. Students should also make sure they have ENC security’s phone number (617-745-3911) and the local number for Quincy Police (617-479-1212). If there is an emergency on the ENC campus, students are instructed to call the local Quincy Police number rather than calling 911. This is to ensure a faster response to the emergency at hand, given Quincy PD is familiar with the neighborhood and our campus geography. Security at ENC takes pride in having a good relationship with Quincy Police, because they arrive on campus in just a few minutes.
ENC’s campus is known to be open to the public. The gates are always open, and people walk through to get to other parts of Quincy or walk their dogs. According to Gelormini, this is not much of a problem because most of the neighborhood around ENC is faculty or staff housing. He says, “We know most of the people who belong in the neighborhood so that we can keep an eye on it.” He also wants to remind all ENC residents about bringing guests on campus. Guests must be registered through the portal online if they are staying overnight. If there’s a fire evacuation, security can account for those visitors. With ENC being a small campus, it is relatively easy to recognize almost everybody who attends classes, works here, etc.
During chapel on Wednesday and Friday, an open campus can leave ENC students feeling vulnerable, as all students are gathered in one area. However, there is a specific security detail for chapel who attends and positions himself in areas where he can see everything that is going on. Gelormini said he was working on increasing chapel safety and providing exit plans to be displayed on the big screens at the chapel.
ENC also looks for students who might be going through a tough time. There is an Active Threat Committee in place to keep an eye out and direct help to those who are in need. The goal is to notice, pinpoint dangerous individuals beforehand to prevent any situations arising that could be harmful to the ENC community.
The Brickley Center on campus has counselors available. However, wait times can get pretty lengthy to see a counselor. With this in mind, security urges people in need to seek counsel also from anyone in a listening position, a favorite teacher, or even the school Chaplain.
Gelormini says, “Active shooter incidents are over in a minute, they don’t last very long, that’s why people have to be prepared within themselves.” He insists that students have a subscription with E2 campus for better communication in times of emergency. Additionally, Gelormini encouraged ENC students to save the phone numbers of campus security and the local Quincy Police and to remain vigilant and prepared.