Students Express Concerns about Active Shooter Drill

The drill will occur on Sept. 28

The drill will occur on Sept. 28

An active shooter drill scheduled for Wednesday has some students and faculty concerned that law enforcement firing blanks may cause trauma.

The drill will take place in Loughran Hall from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Psychology major Maxwell Haynes created a Google Form petition to request that law enforcement refrain from firing blanks.

The petition was created just hours after the announcement about the drill was made.

“I was just worried…..worried about triggering people,” said Haynes.

In an email sent Sept. 22 to the Marywood community, Michael Pasqualicchio, Marywood’s chief of campus safety, explained the drill will involve campus safety and local law enforcement.

The drill will test the university’s on-campus emergency response and the mobile messaging system. The email warned about the use of blanks, saying the drill would simulate a life-threatening attack and participants would be able to hear and smell the gunfire. Students should not call 911, barricade themselves in their classroom or dorm or attack the actor.

Pasqualicchio explained active shooter situations can happen anywhere, and the purpose of the drill is to help prepare students in case they ever encounter a dangerous situation like this.

Some faculty members reached out to Haynes in support of his petition to ban the use of blanks.

Haynes met with Dean of Students Ross Novak to discuss the petition and concerns of students.
Novak explained to Hayes that he was in communication with Pasqualichicco and that the concerns were being taken seriously.

Campus Safety is aware of the petition.

“I understand their concerns, and we are evaluating those now,” said Pasqualicchio.

Pasqualicchio also mentioned that if the drill has to take place without the firing of blanks, it will.

Kai Sheetz, a student living in Loughran Hall, supports the idea to get rid of the use of firearms during the drill.
“When I saw that they were going to be firing blanks, I got very nervous,” said Sheetz.

Sheetz has a service dog that lives with him and expressed concerns about how his dog would react to the drill.

“He gets freaked out by very loud noises…. I just want to make sure that he is going to be okay,” explained Sheetz.

Pasqualicchio said he wanted to remind students that this event is just a drill and that it’s important to be prepared for emergency situations.

“It’s unfortunate that we have to do these drills in this day in age… we want to make sure that we’re prepared,” said Pasqualicchio.

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