Thursday, November 1, 2012

Two Weeks Warning Too Late

Last Thursday morning I was accosted by a startling headline in the Oklahoma Daily: "Armed man apprehended by OUPD." Talk about disturbing! I rescrolled through my OU email account and checked my phone for any missed OUAlerts. Nada. 

According to the Oklahoma Daily, "University police failed to inform students of a man, who said he was armed, on campus last week." From what I understood from the paper, an expelled student, Naasik Ferdous, threatened to murder OU women's soccer goalie, Kelsey Devonshire, for reasons unexplained. Devonshire requested and received extra protection when the threat was realized, but although the almost assailant was spotted "in the Oklahoma Memorial Union on the morning of October 17th", no other students were notified of the potential danger. 

OUPD explained their apparent negligence in not using any alert protocol because "the emergeny system to notify students via test there was a potentially armed man on campus because Ferdous' specific target was only Devonshire." However, several outraged students in my Gateway class, an editorial in the Oklahoma Daily, and I beg to be notified whenever our lives are put into potential danger by the presence of an unstable stranger. Ferdous was crazy enough to travel from OHIO to inflict his plan onto Devonshire so it wouldn't have surprised me in the least if he had opted to expand his plan, especially if his search for Devonshire was fruitless. 

Regardless of the outcome (Ferdous is now behind bars), students should have been notified of the event, even if only after the fact. I have yet to receive any communication from University officials about the incident. I understand the sentiment about not wanting to cause a campus wide frenzy during the danger, perhaps tipping Ferdous to an even further violent side, but even an email to remind students to be alert would have been considerate. And humane. 

A Very Lucky Girl loves some Starbucks in the morning every so often. But I'd love to be informed if the guy "wearing a white hat, red shorts and grey sweatshirt" in line behind me posed a potential danger to me and my Java Chip Frappucino. 

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