Purdue shooting: The real problem

Caitlin Husted, Staff Writer

Tuesday Jan. 21, began as a normal day of classes at Purdue University, but was interrupted by gunfire, screams and fear when the sound of gun shots were reported in the Electrical Engineering building in West Lafayette, Ind., resulting in the death of 21-year-old teachers assistant Andrew Boldt.

With only a single victim, it has assumed that the shooting was not of a typical shooting on a college campus, since he left the building as soon as Boldt had been shot, being taken into custody soon after leaving the building.

Although the shooting is the main topic in the headlines, the real problem lies within what happened outside of the Electrical Engineering building. Many students have reported about the poor conduct certain professors displayed when the notification about the shooting was released.

Abbee Ruskey, a sophomore at Purdue University, was in her phonology class when a fellow student in the class alerted the professor about a notification from the Purdue Emergency Text Service she had received saying that there was a suspected shooting and that all students should seek shelter. While the students began to worry, the professor had a different attitude. Instead of locking the doors and shutting off the lights, he continued to lecture the class, taking no precautions at all. He also didn’t let students check their phones for updates or contact their family and friends.

“The fact that he prevented us from receiving any additional information or protecting ourselves from a possible perpetrator is absolutely ignorant,” Ruskey said. “He’s not the only one. Many Purdue professors are currently being reported as having endangered their students and even joked about a gunman coming in an attacking the students.”

Although the situation didn’t develop and become more serious, these professors should have taken more action for their student’s safety. If the gunman would have moved to a different building, or if there would have been more than one shooter, the professor and their students could have been in grave danger. By not taking proper action, the professors endangered not only their own lives, but their student’s lives as well.

“Purdue will need to enforce that professors and lecturers take these situations seriously,” Ruskey said. “It was torture to have to sit through a lecture when I had no idea if my friends in that building were safe or if I was safe.”

It’s terrifying to think what could have happen to many Purdue students if the shooting had been one at a larger caliber. Hopefully, Purdue will be able to address the precautions professors are required to take in the event of a school shooting.