Is Chico State prepared for tragedy?

Illustration by Liz Coffee
Illustration by Liz Coffee

The United States has officially become a place where people say, “oh no, not another shooting” when a mass shooting takes place.

The shooting at Umpqua Community College is the 296th mass shooting since 2013 and the 75th school shooting since Sandy Hook Elementary school.

People live in this invincible bubble where they assume nothing like a school shooting could happen to them.

This mindset is problematic.

It’s disconcerning that people will post their frustrations and their prayers on social media and then soon, in a matter of days even, the topic will fade back into the depths of denial.

Until it happens again.

It will happen again.

Until something is done in the nation to address these school shootings from the angle of gun control or mental health— the chance of progress seems bleak— this will keep happening,

Is Chico State prepared? Is Chico State ready for a devestating disaster? Does this university have the resources it needs to prevent or deal with an event like a school shooting?

Chico State hasn’t publicly shared any kind of plan with students or faculty, there aren’t any metal detectors on this campus and University Police seems more concerned with ticketing students on bikes than walking around campus and assuring students of safety.

This shooting in Oregon was close to home. Students of the same age— some even younger— as those attending Chico State lost their lives only five hours from here.

Students need the university to stand up and let them know it recognizes this problem, realizes that it could be Chico State next time and it has a plan.

Maybe Chico State can use the new University Police app, TARGET, to do this.

Students should be demanding answers and change from officials at the university, state and national levels.

With email and social media at our fingertips, change could be a click away. This conversation needs to stay vibrant.