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Students question local college’s procedures after San Bernardino shooting

by LINDSEY FEINGOLD

The San Bernardino shooting made national headlines Wednesday when two suspects opened fire at the Inland Regional Center, where county health officials had rented space for a holiday party, according to Vox.

14 people were killed and over 20 were injured at the center, but the horror did not stop there. A car chase occurred around 3 p.m., four hours after the initial shooting took place. Bombs were also left at the center and at the time, police did not know if there were other bombs placed at other locations.

While all of this was going on, many local schools were on lockdown, including the San Bernardino Community College and Loma Linda University. Yet, one college 8 miles away from where the shooting took place did not close for the day and classes were still on normal schedule.

The University of Redlands, a private school located in the city of Redlands, handled the situation by sending out an email as well as posting a message on Facebook, stating that the shooting did not pose a threat.

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Sarah Meisel, a sophomore biology major at the University of Redlands, did not feel safe walking across campus.

“There was an ongoing active shooter situation less than 10 miles away and we were told to continue going to classes as usual,” Meisel said. “Our campus didn’t even enter lockdown until the search helicopters arrived at around 6pm. Many students felt incredibly unsafe walking around campus all day, and the school did nothing until the county issued a shelter in place order.”

Later in the day, police were investigating a house in the city of Redlands connected to one of the suspects that had a potential explosive device inside. This is when the university decided to cancel class.

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Courtesy of Sarah Meisel

Meisel, as well as the rest of the students who attend the university, had to go to classes the next day and turn in all homework on time, even though every activity at night was cancelled. This included tutoring services, which Meisel had planned on going to for her help on chemistry homework due the next day.

The University of Redlands Facebook page saw an out pour of students, who responded with critiques of the procedures used during the shooting by the university.

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This is a stark contrast to the University of Chicago, which received a violence threat Nov. 30. The entire campus where the threat was received closed immediately.

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It turned out that a student had called in the threat and was later arrested. However, these two schools had two completely different ways of handling potential threats to their schools. One continued class as usual when there was an active shooting going on 8 miles away, and the other closed school due to a threat that proved fictitious.

The San Bernardino shooting is now being investigated as an act of terrorism, and ISIS responded by stating that the two suspects were their “followers.”

“You see all these terrible things and think ‘Oh, another mass shooting. How awful.’ But you never really think it will happen to you or someone you love…My thoughts go out to all the victims of the shooting, and to their friends and family,” Meisel said.

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