Earlier this past week at around 4am I was woken up by a flurry of text messages on my phone. And half asleep I just ignored it. When I woke up I saw a bunch of text messages and email notifications. They were both from campus security alerting me of an incident on 11th and Alder of a drunk individual (not a member of our campus community) making noise and exiting his car, to then shoot at the approaching campus security. Nobody was hurt and the Tacoma Police arrived to arrest the individual and take him into custody. Despite the fact I slept through the whole altercation, I am grateful that security contacted all students (who’s contact information is in their myPugetSound profile) via text AND email at the beginning and conclusion of the altercation so if we were in the vicinity we would know what is happening, and for me who had no clue to at least know what was happening. It struck close to home that this incident could have been one of the many recently campus violence across the nation. I think its horrifying that this trend is even occurring or can occur anywhere.
I am thankful for the safety measures our campus security and administration has put in place to keep us students safe. As someone who lives off-campus and quite a few blocks away, as the nights get longer and darker soon-er I’ve been utlizing our security escorts to get home more frequently. Yes, I think Tacoma is a pretty safe community especially the residential area our campus is located in but when its dark and late at night you never know what could happen, such as the shooting incident. And upon getting to know our campus security better, they don’t do a lot of security escorts and that service is available for our students for our safety. These officers, some of which are students, others adults are willing to walk with members to their destination on or off campus (within a wide triangle around campus, see link below for exact streets) and via vehicle if like myself you live or are going somewhere more than 10 blocks away. This incident also spurred a discussion on campus safety hosted by Dean of Students Mike Segawa a few days after the event along with emails from our Head of Security and Assistant Dean of Students Marta Palmquist-Cady on the resources available to prevent campus violence or any nature, safety, and security for our campus. It makes me feel safe knowing our campus were prepared for such an incident, and kept students alerted of what was going on, held follow-up discussions and reminders of resources all in all keeping our campus community safe.