This blog post is a personal story of a recent graduate of The Ohio State University and lessons learned from her past year experiences.
“Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall 19th and College.”
This is the text I received at 9:56 in the morning on November 28th, 2016.
As a senior at The Ohio State University, this wasn’t the first time I experienced violent threats on my home turf. With over fifty-nine thousand registered students attending classes sprawled across the urban campus, how are we supposed to execute a plan with such limited information?Although following instruction from the Department of Homeland Security, I can’t help but ask how everything in between should be addressed? Where were we supposed to hide, in what direction were we to run? I can tell you from firsthand experience that being told to “run, hide, or fight” is overwhelming and terrifying. I immediately wanted to know more; in fact I needed to know more.What comes to mind when I say Ohio? If you’re not from around here, Ohio suggests the image of cornfields, buckeyes, and football; one may even think of the prestige that comes with a degree from THE Ohio State University. Buckeyes are accustomed to a certain level of excellence in all that we do; we never expected something like this November’s tragedy to happen to us. This experience has taught me that if a classmate can barge onto my great campus and attack my friends, my professors, and my home, then who’s to say it won’t happen anywhere else? And that right there is downright scary.
5 Months ago, I started interning at Status Solutions. Because of that experience and after that horrific day unfolded and more detailed information came out about what actually happened, I became empowered. Prior to my exposure to Status Solutions I would have mirrored the helpless and hopeless emotions of my classmates in the wake of this disturbance. Perhaps I would have acted out in fear or anger. In truth, I was saddened and discouraged by the event and I decided to use the tragedy to express the dire need for Situational Awareness – not only on my school campus or on that campus up north, but in ANY situation where lives and assets are at risk.
So, what is situational awareness? It is an effective risk management strategy that works to protect your people and property. Not just any group of people, not just any property, but YOUR people and property. In those critical moments when we needed information, I knew there was software and technology that could tell us what was happening, where it was happening, and most importantly where to go; the route, the distance, and even access to live footage if necessary. I didn’t know it was possible to do these things before, but now I do and I feel obligated to make sure no one ever has to feel as helpless or hopeless as my classmates and professors did that day.
How Firm Thy Friendship
I graduated a week ago (Go Bucks!) and am eager to continue helping the world defeat ignorance-based loss. It takes a lot to breakdown the OSU family, especially after a win over the Wolverines, just three days prior, but it only took one person to do just that. The violence left us shaken, but when the University of Michigan offered their support it proved that life safety is bigger than rivalry and hatred; violence must be fought collectively.
We’re All in this Together O – H…!
This company has taught me how to be cognizant of my environment. It has taught me that awareness trumps ignorance; ignorance doesn’t have the pleasure of masquerading as bliss these days. I am proud because I have found a home within a company where my passion for serving and caring about others aligns with our company purpose: to help people. Over this past year I’ve learned that addressing emergency situations requires more than one piece of technology, more than one company, and far more than one person; this is a community problem and therefore, a community effort. Improvement isn’t always easy and will take time, but the safety of your children, your friends, and your community is worth it. You know it and I know it; now can I get an I-O?