Student Opinions on the Shelter-in-Place Drill

Overall, students felt the Shelter-in-Place drill was designed with good intentions, but was ineffective. Circulating rumors disclosing the date and time of the drill ruined any element of surprise. However, the school decided to improve communication methods for Shelter-in-Place after testing the drill. Students agreed that once improvements are made, it makes sense to continue the drill. Peter Ly ’09: “I thought the Shelter-in-Place was a waste of time because it doesn’t seem like it would be very effective to put all the students into clumped locations. I think that once they improve it or fill in the holes they have, then they should probably run it again at least once for the year.” Eliot Melaney ’10: “ I’ve heard people suggest text messages to all student phones, which is a really good idea because everyone has a cell phone.” Jessica Cole ’08: “While I think we know the basics, and I am glad we had the practice run-through, I just don’t think people feel prepared or informed for every possible scenario. There should have been more feedback from students after the last run-through.” Alex McHale ’09: “I think it’s a good idea, but it’s not properly implemented. I felt like teachers and students didn’t really know what they were doing. There was a lack of communication between the administrative policies and the faculty understanding. The policies themselves were not made clear, and this is a necessary thing especially after Virginia Tech. We’ve really become conscious of our own mortality.” Allen Zhang ’10: “I think the Shelter-in-Place drill was a waste of time because everyone knew it was going to happen, so it didn’t really help. But I still think it’s important that each year there be another Shelter-in-Place drill for the new students.” Zoe Bogus ’09: “Since we all knew about it in advance, we couldn’t get a real sense for how people would actually find out about the alert. It wasn’t taken seriously at all. I suppose the best way to test whether our campus would be ready if there was an emergency is to do a surprise test.” -Alicia Keyes and Charles Shoener