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When lightning strikes
Ashley Leever
Antelope Staff
Photo by Ashley Leever
LeAnn Obrecht, the director of counseling and health care, urges faculty and students to use resources on campus such as the counseling center in order to help troubled peers, students, or coworkers at the Active Shooter Training on Feb. 18.

UNK holds active shooter training


 

The odds of being victim to an active shooter are similar to the chances of being struck by lightning. Above all other forms of weather-related injuries, lightning is proven to be the most common. Most of us have learned to beware of lightning and exercise caution.

As active shooter incidents become more common across the nation, UNK’s police and parking service’s put on an active shooter training session for UNK faculty and students on Feb. 18 in the Ockinga Conference Room.

The session focused on what an active shooter is and the three options a person has if caught in that situation—get out, hide out, or take out. As Michelle Hamaker, the director of police and parking services said, “An active shooter has intent to kill as many people in the shortest amount of time possible. A hostage taker uses a captive as leverage to get what they want.”

A short video, “Shots Fired: When Lightning Strikes” was shown at the presentation to give the audience a better idea of how to react if they are the victims of an active shooter. “The most important thing is to be aware of your surroundings— and don’t put yourself in a situation to be a victim. Be aware of your capabilities and the safest choice for you,” Hamaker said.

The video encouraged victims to react immediately, figure out their situation, and trust intuition.

From television shows, movies and video games, perpetrators are often portrayed as scary, tough men, but the most common active shooters will usually be your coworkers or fellow students—people you may never expect to act out.

 LeAnn Obrecht, the director of counseling and health care, focused on what signs may indicate a troubled student or coworker and how to prevent them from acting out.

For many students, the transition from high school to college can be overwhelming and can lead to very severe changes in moods and attitudes. Providing students with guidance from a counselor may prevent a potential lethal situation, “A student never just snaps. Taking the time to listen can go a long ways in prevention,” Obrecht said.

Brandon Benitz, the assistant to the dean for student affairs and conduct officer, discussed how more students entering college have a history of mental health issues or unresolved issues at home. But by utilizing resources on campus and providing help to students in need, the number of criminal violations on the UNK campus has dropped from 495 in 2007-2008 to 307 in 2009-2010 with a repeat offender rate of only five percent.

As the training emphasized, if you feel a peer or coworker is potentially dangerous, don’t be afraid to let someone know. For counseling services at UNK call 308-865-8517 or visit the counseling center in the student affairs building. To contact police and parking services call 308-865-8248.

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