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Students On-Edge After UCC Shooting - KOAM TV 7

Students On-Edge After UCC Shooting

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

Thursday's deadly shootings at Umpqua Community College in Oregon has many students on edge, nationwide. That includes Pitt State; Where the Director of University Police, Mike McCracken, heard about the shooting while leading an active shooter training seminar.

"There was a change in the tone. I mean they paid attention, and they we're doing really well in the class. But when [the UCC shooting] happened, it really brought home some of the message that we were trying to put forth," McCracken said.

The tone also changed for many students. Freshman Tanner Barnes says it feels different walking on campus after Thursday's shooting.

"That college, honestly, wasn't that big of a college," Barnes said. "It just goes to show that it could happen anywhere at any time so I mean that really does kind of scare you."

Barnes isn't alone, with several students describing a sense of fear.

"It definitely makes me more aware of body language of how people carry themselves," Senior Austin Stapleton said.

"It's definitely scary being a college kid knowing that can happen at any time," Freshman Cody Calvert added. 

"It just goes to show you have to be very vigilant. And just watch your classmates," Freshman Johnny Schmidt said.

Although Freshman Daniela Valencia said she didn't feel any less safe on a college campus.

"I feel that everywhere could work harder to be prepared for something like that," Valencia said.

"The best that we can do is try our best to make sure everyone gets information," McCracken said. "[And] we do our best to train."

"They email us and stuff. They let us know if there's a shooter on campus," Calvert said. "Obviously you're not going to be able to know that all the time."

Despite training or heightened awareness, officer McCracken and university students wonder if any campus could be adequately prepared for an active shooter.

"Anybody can walk on the campus at any time," Calvert said. 

"I think we could have the most preparations set up in advance," Stapleton said. "But if it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen." 

"Realistically, it's unlikely that any campus is really prepared for what happens in an event like that," McCracken said.

Both Pitt State and Missouri Southern do not expect to change any of its policies based on Thursday's shootings.

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