Faculty concerns over shelter-in-place protocols addressed

Jasmine Martinez

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Conversations on improving of shelter-in-place protocols continue, as Faculty Senate expressed their concerns over the events on the Sept. 3 bomb threat at Cerritos College to the chief of campus police on Sept. 10.

Chief Thomas Gallivan appraises the police officers in charge of apprehending the suspect, Mohammad Sameem Yaqubi, as well as campus police and faculty in charge of evacuating and informing students, but understands there are “lessons to be learned.”

He said clarifying terminology in regards to what shelter-in-place and a lockdown actually mean is important.

When President Jose Fierro first told Faculty Senate President April Griffith about the shelter-in-place, she “assumed lockdown meant active shooter and [didn’t] want everyone to panic and try to run out.”

“I think that shared language among campus is important,” she said.

“We really need to be more emphatic about explaining that just because it’s a shelter-in-place, does not mean that it’s going to be an active shooter,” Gallivan said.

He emphasized that if there’s an active shooter, a message of “active shooter on campus, shelter in place” will be sent out by dispatchers.

A lockdown indicates a hostile situation, Gallivan added.

Felipe Lopez, Vice President of Fiscal Services, helped with the RAVEAlerts sent out on Sept. 3 and said he didn’t receive a message at all.

He said, “Technology doesn’t always work when we want it to,” and encouraged others to contact him regarding other possible methods to improve notifications and preventive communication problems for shelter-in-place situations.

Angela Hoppe-Nagao, chair of Communication Studies, brought up concerns over some doors, as in the Social Science building, not being able to manually lock from the inside.

From a law enforcement perspective, barricaded doors and flipped locks create a situation in which law enforcement cannot get inside a classroom and potential for “bad guy” to lock people inside and keep law enforcement out, said Gallivan.

Cerritos College Faculty Federation President Stephanie Rosnblatt issued concerns of deaf and hard of hearing students and faculty that could not hear the intercom announcement and didn’t receive notifications.

Lopez said the points made are being taken into consideration for better results in the case a similar situation happens again.

Dennis Falcon, political science faculty adviser, recommended, “It should be mandatory that every instructor, whether they like it or not, during the first week of class [show] the [run, hide, fight] video,” regardless if students watch it multiple times.

They will be better prepared with a “four-minute video that can save lives,” Falcon said.

A campus forum regarding the shelter-in-place incident will take place on Sept. 12 and is open to all students and employees to provide feedback.

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