In the event of an active shooter on campus, each of the five Claremont Colleges has its own procedures, and Campus Safety would act as the main coordinator for alerting the entire 5C community and
calling the police. The 5Cs practiced response procedures in a drill on March 27, but some students questioned the effectiveness of the drill and the availability of information about how to respond to a crisis.
“Campus Safety would be the liaison between local law
enforcement and the Emergency Response Teams on each Campus,” wrote Dean
Manship, the emergency preparedness program manager for the Claremont
Colleges and interim director of Campus Safety, in an email to TSL.
Manship also indicated that local law enforcement agencies
would protect campus, and that an emergency notification would be
sent instructing the community to shelter in safe places.
Robert Robinson, assistant vice president of Facilities and Campus Services at Pomona College, said that his emergency response team conducts training exercises and tries to educate students through emails and written material on what to
do in the event of an emergency. None of the colleges have specific preventative measures in place, however, due to the unpredictable nature of such an event.
“Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to prevent an
active shooter situation,” Manship wrote.
The other 5Cs have similar procedures in the event of an
Claremont McKenna College can remotely lock
classroom doors, according to Marsha Tudor, the associate director of Facilities
and Campus Services at CMC. She added that CMC residential advisers have training with the emergency management specialist, and CMC makes information sheets available in all classrooms and residence halls detailing response actions to emergency situations including active violence.
“All college campuses are aware of recent violence around the country and we take these concerns very seriously,” Tudor wrote in an email to TSL.
She added that the schools have conducted annual active shooter drills for approximately 10 years.
Despite the email that students received before the drill last week, students reported not knowing how to respond during the drill.
One student said that his class ignored the alarm bells and phone alerts that the active shooter drill triggered, instead continuing with the professor’s planned lecture.
“I was about to walk off campus,” Michelle Chan PO ’17 said. “I was on my way out anyway, so I thought I had better walk faster.”
Chan also noted that she had not seen any material about what to do in the event of an active shooter drill until the email about the drill was sent out.
Other students seemed unaware of the event altogether.
“When did this happen?” Robert Beckles PO ’17 said. “I probably slept through it.”
As part of the March 27 drill, CMC practiced additional emergency response procedures behind the scenes.
According to an email Tudor sent to CMC students and faculty and staff members on April 1, CMC’s Incident Management Team simulated gathering reports about victims and assailants and providing “emotional support to those in need” after the lockdown. The team also conducted a simulation alongside the Claremont Police Department in which they set up a fake command post in the basement of the Kravis Center and carried out a plan to locate an intruder.
Tudor said that there is work to be done to increase awareness of emergency procedures.
“We hope to develop programming that will be specifically targeted for students,” she wrote.