MU campus security changes after 9/11

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Parish Episcopal/Dallas, Texas
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COLUMBIA — The attack on Sept. 11, 2001, made an unforgettable impact on America and changed the way many people view the world.

After 9/11, safety at MU was taken more seriously.

The efforts made by the MU Police Department include an automatic activated mass-text alert system for any emergencies that police think students should be aware of.

This is in addition to existing security tools, such as E-phones, which are tall, red poles throughout campus. They were installed 18 years ago. The purpose of the E-phones is to give students assurance that they can be assisted with a push of a button.

MU campus security survey

With the coming of the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Campus Safety magazine is asking readers to take this brief online survey.

Caroline Lavelock, a graduate student at MU, said she was 12 years old, sitting in class in Kansas City during the Sept. 11 attack. The school secretary announced what had happened on the public announcement system, and Lavelock was shocked to see the second plane hit the World Trade Center on live television.

The security at MU is “about as good as it can be,” Lavelock said. She added that there are still crimes that take place on campus, but — campus police can’t prevent everything.

“I have never really felt threatened on this campus,” she said.

MU Police Capt. Brian Weimer said an emergency plan is in place that is adaptable to all emergency situations and follows the National Incident Management System module.

“9/11 made people realize what we face each day,” Weimer said, speaking of the importance of keeping the campus safe and secure.

Jessica Percic, a senior at MU, was in sixth grade in Chicago when the terrorist attacks took place. She left school early for a dentist appointment and watched the second tower collapse on the TV in her living room.

“I remember being really scared and paranoid over every little thing after seeing those images,” she said.

There have been certain instances on campus where Percic has felt endangered. When she was a freshman, a couple of sorority sisters were held at gunpoint, and there was also a rape during her time at MU.

“As much as I’d like to feel safe, still crimes occur,” she said.

Students need to be more aware and not

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put themselves in dangerous situations, Percic said, and campus security will do everything they possibly can to keep students safe.

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Barber, a senior from Illinois, said that on Sept. 11, he was in sixth grade and remembers watching the terrorist attack live from his classroom. At the time, he didn’t know what the World Trade Center was. The first glimpse Barber ever had of the building was of it blowing up into pieces.

He said he has had no reason to feel unsafe on campus, even when there was a rumor of a shooter on the loose.

When asked about how he stays informed about security alerts on campus, Barber said, “The university will send out a mass text message whenever there’s an emergency so students have the information to keep themselves safe.”