Lieutenant Todd Short of the University of Illinois Police Department gave a talk on safety during Uni Period on Monday. Lieutenant Short was informing the entire student body as well as staff and faculty on what to do during an Active Threat situation. Dr. Nuckolls sent out an email earlier that day informing Uni students of the mandatory talk. Nuckolls also introduced Short prior to his speech and informed students that there would be an Active Threat drill on February 9. She told the students to prevent parents from worrying.
According to Lieutenant Short, similar talks were being given across campus to tell students what to do in an Active Threat situation, which he described as being the “worst-case scenario.” Short posed and answered the question, “Why should we care?”, saying that no matter where we are, an Active Threat situation could take place.
Short went on to describe three tactics in dealing with an Active Threat. The first was “run,” in which students should try to get out and get as far away from the building as possible. He noted that it was better to be unaccounted for than dead, so evacuation areas like Uni Gym did not necessarily need to be utilized.
The second tactic was “hide.” Short said that “run” would not always work in situations where the location or capabilities of the threat is unknown. He gave multiple tips on hiding, including barricading the doors, removing yourself from sight, staying silent, and waiting for an Illini Alert that the situation is safe.
The final tactic was “fight,” which Todd said he had been fighting to get into the Active Threat safety vocabulary for quite sometime. He described “fight” as using either objects in the classroom or a sizable mass of people to impede the assailant.
Students had mixed reactions to the assembly, for which notice was only given earlier that day.
“I wasn’t really looking forward to it, but I did feel like I learned a little bit of stuff in terms of safety and what they want us to do,” says freshman Ethan Ashbrook.
Junior Isandro Malik thought that the presentation was “okay” and that the “police officer was a decent speaker.” Junior Jared Rosenbaum however, has different feelings, saying that he’s “been to that exact same assembly about twenty times in my life.”