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This is Not a Drill! Emmanuel Practices First “Shelter in Place” Drill

On Thursday, February 11, at approximately 11AM, Emmanuel students participated in the college’s first shelter in place drill on campus.

The drill affected both academic and residential buildings and was approximated to last 15-20 minutes. Students were to be notified via PA systems and external speakers and the emergency notification system (e-mail, voicemail and text messages).

Additionally, alerts were posted to the portal website for students.

Students were encouraged to familiarize themselves with the guidelines for response in a shelter in place situation. This information can be found below as well as in the Emergency Response Guide located in all classrooms, conference rooms, office suites, residence halls and on the College website.

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“The emergency guides are next to the door… which isn’t safe because aren’t we supposed to stay away from the door?” said Curtis Fraser ’16.

The reason for this drill was explained in an email from Director of Campus Safety, Jack Kelly.

“In light of recent active shooter situations across the country, including on other college and university campuses, the Emergency Preparedness Committee has been working hard on ways to better prepare the Emmanuel community for such a situation on campus or in the surrounding area.” said Kelly in the email.

Students reacted to the drill unenthusiastically, many skeptical of it’s importance.

Regardless of unfavorable student attitudes towards the drill, Emmanuel staff members were eager to participate and do their part to protect the school and students.

“Committee members and other individuals were given roles and responsibilities to assist the community and were positioned in various areas of campus to answer any questions that came up during the course of the drill. We also invited representatives of other COF institutions to observe in preparation for planned drills on their own campuses.” Said Jack Kelly.

The drill only lasted around ten minutes, despite the advanced warning that it would be a twenty minute procedure.

“Our observations and initial feedback indicate that the drill was successful, and faculty, staff and students used the time in classrooms, offices, the library, dining facilities and residence halls to discuss what actions would be appropriate if there were to be an actual emergency.” Commented Jack Kelly after the drill.

Students who happened to be in class at the time of the drill participated in a guided discussion lead by their professor about why the college was practicing this drill and what it meant to them to be prepared for an active shooter situation.


Discussion prompt found in classrooms during the drill.

Although the drill was well executed, it may not have left the lasting impact on students that Campus Security had hoped for. Many students expressed that the drill did not make them feel any safer than they did before.

“Our classroom has so many windows,” said Emily Karpinski ’17 on her Wilkins Science Center classroom. “I feel like we would not be safe in this room.”

Despite what some students may believe, practicing an active shooter drill is becoming a necessary action on most college campuses. The college is still discussing what an appropriate frequency will be for future shelter in place drills. At this point, the spring semester fire drills are already scheduled. It is important for students to take the drill seriously and to know how to stay safe on campus during an active shooter emergency.

Questions can be directed to the committee at

Anna Topping ’17 is a staff writer and the Social Media Editor of The Hub. She can be contacted at and on Twitter @annaytopping.

Posted by on February 15, 2016. Filed under Around Campus. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.