By: Daniel Johnson, Staff Reporter
With violence on the rise on campuses nationwide, students, staff and faculty will be participating in several exercises for campus emergencies, said Chief Communications and Government Relations Officer Samantha Sengel.
A variety of drills will include active shooter, fire, mechanical failure and others that will take place on all campuses throughout the year, said Sengel.
Additionally, updated training will be given to members of staff, faculty and security at all campuses, she said.
“This year might feel a little different than what people are used to, but we want people to know that it will feel like this from now on to ensure the safety of the staff, faculty, and students,” said Sengel.
Sengel said that for each different type of exercise, there are a number of outside organizations that have to be involved.
Director of Security Ernest Chavez is working closely with those groups to make sure the right people are present for the specific exercises being conducted, said Sengel.
Those agencies are actively involved with the planning of all aspects of the exercise, including how staff and faculty are supposed to respond as well as what actions students should be directed to take, she said.
T h e r e will also be voluntary training available for students, faculty and staff with specific agencies like APD or Homeland Security, said Sengel.
“We want to allow all people on campus to become educated on what to do during a potential crisis,” said Sengel.
Vice President of Student S e r v i c e s Phillip Bustos said the major focus of the exercises will be active shooter s i t u a t i o n s , but the goal is keepi n g p e o p l e trained and up to date with all potential situations.
Training staff on how to deal with a situation involving someone with a mental health disability is also in the works, he said.
He also hopes to encourage more students to sign up for the emergency text alerts, he said.
Students can sign up for the texts through the Emergency Text Alert link on the Welcome tab of their MyCNM account.
Sengel said the emergency texts alerts are to inform members of the CNM community and allow them to avoid potentially dangerous areas, and to inform people who might be in that area of possible danger.
It is important for people to know that personal responsibility is the biggest thing for staying safe, she said.
Informing security of a possible threat could allow for the protection of many instead of the protection of one, she said.
“Let’s all remember our own responsibility in making sure that we are aware and accountable for what’s happening, said Sengel.
Bustos said the campuses are safe, but that preparing faculty, staff and students for possible emergencies allows for better response if a situation should occur.
“We want to create a culture of preparedness with all the training and exercise, not one of fear,” he said.