StuGov endorsed an open letter requesting updated emergency protocols for all buildings on campus and an understanding of lockdown and shelter-in-place procedures following hoax swatting calls that reported an active shooter on campus.
President Dhruv Kapadia began the meeting with an acknowledgement of the previous night’s events.
“This was an incredibly difficult and unfortunate experience that all 17,000 undergrads here at BU had to experience, and I think BU did not handle it in the greatest of ways,” he said.
Kapadia shared that BU’s Board of Trustees did not follow recommendations from student activists to divest from civilian firearm manufacturers.
The meeting continued with an amendment to the Senate bylaws to clarify endorsement definitions, but returned to the topic of the swatting calls and BU’s lack of protocol for lockdown and shelter-in-place situations.
“After last night, I feel like we’ve all been hearing stories of students who were in open spaces, public spaces on campus and were confused with what to do,” Shana Weitzen, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Science and one of the students who brought the open letter to StuGov, said. “There wasn’t really a clear start and end to what we would think of as a shelter in place. We weren’t sure what facilities were on lockdown and what weren’t.”
The open letter calls for clarification in emergency protocols for each building and clear communication of which areas of campus are in lockdown, as well as clear beginnings and endings to shelter-in-place procedure.
Different areas of campus faced different levels of restriction. Weitzen described an intense lockdown at Marciano Dining Hall and the George Sherman Union, while another senator shared the ease in which people could enter the law building.
This lack of clarity also impacted student workers, many of whom were working at the time and unclear as to whether or not their job should take priority over an implied shelter-in-place.
Senator Jessica Sullivan told StuGov that she still had to go to her job at Scarlet Safewalk near where one of the active shooter sightings happened.
“At the end of the day, student workers were at a point where they should do their job or barricade themselves,” she said.
The letter also calls for a response from the university, who has not released any communication to students about the “hoax” calls since the last BU Alert.
“Students are expected to attend class like nothing happened last night, and professors are supposed to lecture like normal,” the open letter states. “The University is silent and that silence has made it clear to us as students that our safety and well being is not the priority.”
The open letter was endorsed with 35 votes.