O-week to include school shooting video

By Scott Strasser

The University of Calgary plans to show new students a video on how to react if a gunman opens fire on campus. The video — which was made by the Campus Alberta Risk and Assurance committee (CARA) — will be shown to new students this fall.

The original video, titled “Shooter on Campus: Know You Can Survive”, was filmed at the University of Alberta and is used at universities across Alberta.

“It’s an editable video, so we can add Campus Security’s contact number or our emergency text messaging service,” U of C emergency management manager Bob Maber said.

U of A associate vice-president risk management and services Philip Stack hopes the video will provide useful information to university students who find themselves in a crisis situation.

“About a year ago, [CARA] identified an active shooter video as a gap in the health and safety information that we provided to our communities,” Stack said.

Edmonton police provided the bulk of information used in the video.

The video tells students to quickly find a safe way out of the building, hide or barricade themselves in a safe area or, as a last resort, to fight back.

The video comes after a series of campus shootings in the United States.

On June 5, a 26-year-old man opened fire on three Seattle Pacific University students, killing one and wounding two others. The gunman was pepper-sprayed and tackled by students while reloading his gun.

University of Calgary Firearms Association (UCFA) operations director Delano Civitarese said knowledge of firearms brought the gunman down quickly.

“The only reason they were able to bring the shooter down was because he was reloading,” Civitarese said. “If you have knowledge of magazine capacities, you can prevent more damage from happening.”

Students’ response to the video has varied.

Third-year political science student Brian Bateson called the dramatization of a school shooting “irresponsible.”

“I’m all for promoting emergency preparedness, but in my opinion, there are better ways to do it. Ways that might avoid inciting fear in students,” Bateson said.

Maber urged students to sign up for the emergency management text messaging service, which sends out mass texts in the event of a crisis.

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