As police searched campus for a gunman, students away from the potential danger received the emergency alert texts. Some were worried and others were angry, but they generally felt safe.
Tenasha Stephens, a sophomore elementary and special education major, was in the Atrium and had just sat down for dinner when the campus-wide lockdown was announced.
Stephens was ushered to the second floor of the Arts and Journalism building.
At the time, she knew very little about the situation and relied on the television screen projected on the second floor wall for information, which described a man in a pink shirt and khakis.
“That’s all,” she said. “We’ve been texted that there’s a man on campus with a gun, but we didn’t know if shots were fired.”
She didn’t even know how to react.
“Should I be scared?” she said. “I guess I feel safe because they shut down the lights.”
Sydney Shoultz, a freshman speech pathology major, was also on the second floor of the Art and Journalism building. She said she felt safe but ill-informed.
“They are [good precautions], but it’s also a lot of wishy-washy information,” she said. “It’s just like, ‘these are the people you have to look for; there’s a gunman,’ and that’s all we get. You know, we don’t really know what the situation is so it’s hard to figure out how you’re supposed to feel about it.”
Alexa Cardelli, a computer information systems major who was locked down in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center, was livid.
“The alert system, quite honestly, has been disappointing and absolutely asinine with the texts that they’re sending out,” she said. “The ones that make no sense and have grammar errors and are partial messages… this is a shame what my tax dollars are going to.”
She was in the building for Phi Mu recruitment when the lockdown began but didn’t find out about it until she tried to go to Starbucks on the first floor.
“We had no idea the building was on lockdown,” she said. “At that point it had been 20 or 25 minutes before we had gotten the text message.”
Over in Noyer Complex, sophomore telecommunications major Skylar Crane got the alert as she was about to walk out the door.
“I was actually leaving for work, and then I got the text message,” she said. “I had to call my boss.”
Crane works at Lafollette Complex but was allowed to stay home.
She said she felt well-informed throughout the ordeal.
“I think they’re handling it pretty well,” she said. “I heard they have a bunch of cops outside Bracken, and they’re walking through DeHority right now. They’re keeping everybody pretty well updated.”
In the Art and Journalism building, students kept their eyes on the monitors.
Freshman Chris Campi, a music media production major, said the atmosphere on the second floor was fairly calm.
“Now, it says there’s a second person,” he said with the glow of the monitor reflecting in his glasses. “A couple of us were joking that maybe it’s the same guy, and he just changed.”
In Studebaker West, undecided freshman Molly Carpenter said she stayed in her room once she got the notification.
“I guess that it’s still a concern since I haven’t gotten any information about the problem being solved yet,” she said. “I feel like it’s good that they described the person and where they were so that people stay away from the area.”
Jack Doyle, a freshman accounting major, said he wanted to see more in-depth updates from the university throughout the lockdown.
“I wish they would give us more information,” Doyle said, “so, like, we actually know what was going on… like I don’t know if there’s a guy just with a gun or if he’s actually hurting people. I just don’t know.”
Gun scare impacts campus Thursday night