Students don’t hesitate to return to Student Recreation and Wellness Center

Police secure the Student Recreation and Wellness Center after a report of an armed assailant in the building. DN PHOTO COREY OHLENKAMP
Police secure the Student Recreation and Wellness Center after a report of an armed assailant in the building. DN PHOTO COREY OHLENKAMP

In 24 hours, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center went from a place to work out to an evacuated building swarmed with police, and then almost seamlessly back.

The building, one of four in the shut down sports and recreation complex, was closed for about three hours as police responded to a report of someone yelling “gun” in the Health and Physical Activity Building. Their search ended without ever finding a suspect or threat.

Paige Cooper, a sophomore exercise science major, had left the rec center about an hour before the police responded, and returned on Saturday.

“I don’t think [attendance] is down any,” she said. “It’s a Saturday, so it’s a bit slow, but there are a lot of people on the basketball courts.”

Cooper said she goes to the rec center often, and didn’t see increased security the day after.

“Two cops drove by and it made me a little nervous, but not really,” she said. “I feel like they’re circling just to make sure everything is going okay, but I don’t know for sure.”

Kurtis Castrodale, a senior sales major who has worked at the rec center for a semester, was working at the equipment room in the basement Friday when the building was put on lockdown.

“I feel pretty safe here,” he said. “After what happened last night, I feel more protected than I ever have.”

Castrodale said he was unsure of what was happening when the building was locked down and people were moved down to the basement.

“Once I realized that everyone was locked in here and we saw these policemen with M16’s, we realized how serious it was,” he said. “I felt safe. I never felt hesitant when we were in the room.”

Castrodale said he didn’t notice a dip in attendance on Saturday.

“This is the busiest it’s been in a while, for a Saturday,” he said. “I don’t think people are really hesitant. I think they feel it was just a little scare, but nothing to be worried about.”

The police response was justified in Castrodale’s eyes, especially since there have been school shootings nationally in the last few years.

“I know if there was anything that did happen here, they would be here as soon as they could,” he said.

Jennifer Mayo, a telecommunications graduate student, wasn’t worried about her safety when she went to the rec center on Saturday.

“I was just worried whether it was open or not,” she said. “Not so much safety, because it seemed like it was a false alarm, so I was more worried about whether that it would be closed or that people would be acting weird.”

Mayo goes to the rec center about four days a week, and she said there isn’t much anyone, even the university, could do in a situation like Friday afternoon.

“Sometimes with these things, if it happens, it happens, and you just have to prepare yourself,” she said.

Jake Rura, a sophomore musical theatre major, said he had no hesitation in going back to work out at the rec center.

“I know last year we had a couple little threats, and this is obviously a bigger one, but I thought they did everything fine,” he said.

Rura said he was unconcerned, but the reports may have dissuaded others from coming to work out.

Overall, Rura said he felt safe and was pleased with the university’s response.

“Life goes on, you know?” he said.


More from The Daily

This Week's Digital Issue

Loading Recent Classifieds...