Stop the mockery!

Yesterday at around 4:15 p.m. the University Police (at my lovely alma mater, the University at Buffalo) evacuated Lockwood Library but wouldn’t say why. Everything was very secretive and the whole situation was a complete clusterfuck.

The article about the story is HERE.
Student reaction is HERE.
Editorial on the process (that I wrote) is HERE.
It was an intense situation for hours. Police and students alike didn’t know what was going on. It was a mess. Like Jenn and I said in our column…we didn’t know if UB was going to turn into the next Virginia Tech or what.
Almost immediately after the news broke The Spectrum received countless phone calls from NYC news outlets asking us about the situation. Reporters were chasing the big story just like we were. The rush to the breaking news even caused drama in the office.
It kind of sickened me that people were hoping for something to happen so they could break “the big story,” that is until in the back of my mind I was thinking the same thing. I’m a journalist. I can’t help hoping for the worst even if it’s scary. It’s not that I WANT it to happen, it’s just that a small part of my career focused mind has lapses in judgment sometimes when it comes to bettering my portfolio. I was wrong to think that way, but sometimes you can’t help it.
How disgusting of a thought it was didn’t hit me until I left The Spectrum office and was safely back in my apartment (after a few calming Mardi Gras drinks with friends). I was sitting there, checking Facebook and watching the Olympics when I stumbled upon a new Facebook group: “I Survived the UB Gunman of 2010.”
Hold on. What?
This made me angry and I became really mad at myself for having my demented thoughts earlier in the day.
People, gunmen and even a THREAT of one is NOT OKAY. It’s not funny and it’s not something to be mocked. The UB police and campus personnel messed up royally when it came to dealing with the situation. If there was a gunman, it would have been bad news for the 30,000+ people on the campus. It would have been horrible. We all could have been in terrible danger. Thank God we weren’t, but the fact remains that the emergency protocol on this campus needs a facelift and it needs it now.
Don’t mock the situation. Yes it spiraled out of control but if it was real you wouldn’t be laughing. Plus it’s a slap in the face to our peers at Virginia Tech who actually had to deal with a tragedy. They’re not laughing and you shouldn’t be either.
Why not spend less time mocking the situation and more time pressuring UB to fix their crack system?

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