Lockdown Drills on campus

13 November 2018

Tamera Twitty

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Starting this semester one standard fire drill on the UCCS campus will be replaced with either a lockdown or lockout drill.

The University has adopted the Standard Response Protocol — a series of safety measures commonly used in K-12 schools. Lockdown and lockout drills will be the first of several precautionary practices that the university will be taking within the next year.

The Standard Response Protocol includes and defines lockdown, lockout, evacuation and shelter in place protocols in school settings. UCCS police and public safety will be using these drills and protocols as a way to ensure on campus safety from threats. Public safety hopes to make the new conduct as safe and effective as the common fire drill has become.

One of the main safety goals is to familiarize the UCCS community with the new terms and procedures, especially the difference between a lockout and a lockdown.

The purpose of a lockdown would be to protect students and faculty from threats that would make it unsafe to evacuate or continue business as usual on campus such as an active shooter situation. During a lockdown student are urged to, “Move away from sight, maintain silence, prepare to evade or defend,” in an announcement from public safety. Staff on the other hand are being told to, “lock interior doors, turnout the lights, move away from sight, do not open doors, prepare to evade or defend.”

A lockout is a similar protocol, but focuses on securing a perimeter and keeping students and staff inside the buildings. During a lockout, the university will promote business as usual, however no one will be able to leave or open doors until the threat is contained. Both staff and students are encouraged to stay alert during a lockdown situation.

The University has also included evacuation to the list of new protocol. An evacuation encompasses safe and timely exit of all students and staff form the campus. In the case of an evacuation, students are asked to leave everything behind except their cellphones

Students have mixed reactions about whether or not they believe lockdown or lockout drills are valuable use of class time.

Third year psychology major Courtney Morgan does not think so.

“At this point I feel like most of the people here have already been exposed to these kind drills,” said Morgan. “We did it so often in high school. Those of us who are unfamiliar can just follow directions and figure it out.”

Senior communication major Marcella Lopez believes that knowing the drills essential to campus safety.

“Everyone needs to be prepared for the worst case scenario. It is important that all schools, from preschool to university, have a practiced way to react in the case of an active shooter,” said Lopez.

UCCS has implemented the Standard Response Protocol in hopes of deterring threats and ensuring that the campus community has a plan of action in case of emergency. Students and staff can expect one lockdown or lock out drill to occur per semester for practice.