A week after the near crisis, campus life returns to normal

In the wake of last Wednesday’s near-crisis on campus, St. John’s officials are taking steps to increase security on campus, as well as return the University to a sense of normalcy.

There are currently plans to upgrade communication systems around the University. For example, phones with speakers may be installed in classrooms. According to James Pellow, the Executive Vice President of the University said, “this is the best way to capture kids in class” if there is an emergency.

Six to 10 more flat screens, known as e-boards, of which there are already six to eight located around campus, will be placed sporadically throughout the University. “They are helpful as you walk between buildings,” said Pellow.

While upgrades are in the works, Pellow noted that “every form of communication is not foolproof.”

Besides these upgrades, St. John’s also offered additional counseling services to its students following the incident.
According to Dr. Harmon, the Director of the Counseling Center, counselors, as well as Campus Ministry, were available on campus until 10 p.m. on the night of the incident to “provide assistance at whatever level needed.”

He added that the counselors were available for “students who had particular fears related to the incident.”

There were also fliers passed out around campus saying that counselors were available to speak to students.

While St. John’s officials are taking extra safety precautions, some students still feel skeptical about whether they are truly safe on campus.

“I can’t say that I feel particularly safe, but they can’t make the school 100 percent safe without making it a hassle for us, such as having to swipe in to get on campus,” said sophomore Alex Boukas.

He does, however, feel that the emergency call plan and the addition of phones with speakers in classrooms will help to increase students’ safety on campus.

“I do feel somewhat safer with the text message alerts and phones with speakers,” he said.

Other students feel like campus life is back to normal, and are not worried about their safety.

“I feel like everything is back to normal,” said junior Francheska Cepeda.

Junior James Losada added, “I felt safe the day the incident happened.”

Dr. Harmon noted, “In another 2-3 weeks, if we don’t have any upwelling of anxiety, it will pass.”