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Home » Discover Rackham » The Active-Shooter Alert: Lessons and Next Steps

Earlier this week, President Schlissel sent a message to the U-M community regarding the March 16 reports of an active shooter on campus and how the campus responded. If you have not had a chance to read the message in its entirety, I urge you to take a moment to do so now. Among other details, the president’s message includes links to digital training resources—including U-M’s active-attacker training video—which provide valuable information for active-attacker situations.

The events of March 16 provide us the opportunity as a school to evaluate how we offer training in this space, to coordinate with campus partners to make the resources you need available, and to identify where we can improve. On behalf of the graduate school, I embrace that opportunity.

That many graduate students had not received University of Michigan–specific training that they could call upon at the moment of the alert was one of the biggest takeaways from the town-hall meeting organized by RSG, SCOR, and GRIN last Friday to discuss the alert and its aftermath. Other feedback we received included concerns over the timing and wording of the alerts, the availability of training specific to graduate students serving as instructors, and the level of follow up and support in the week after the episode.

I would like to thank RSG, SCOR, and GRIN for organizing the town hall, along with everyone who attended, and all of you who have reached out through multiple channels to offer input and share your experiences of this event. Though this turned out not to be a real threat, the fear it caused was real and intense. For anyone needing support as a result, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers a range of options, including Rackham’s embedded CAPS staff member, Dr. Laura Monschau.

We are taking your feedback seriously. In addition to the campus-level steps that the president discussed in his message, Rackham is committed to coordinating with the Division of Public Safety and Security (DPSS) to explore how Rackham can be more proactive in sharing this type of information with and facilitating training for our students on an ongoing basis. As an initial effort in that regard, Rackham will be sponsoring Active Shooter Training for Graduate Students on May 15 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. in the Rackham Assembly Hall. An officer from DPSS will be on hand to lead the training and answer your questions.

The events of March 16 provide us the opportunity as a school to evaluate how we offer training in this space, to coordinate with campus partners to make the resources you need available, and to identify where we can improve. On behalf of the graduate school, I embrace that opportunity and will share developments with you as they take shape. In the meantime, I encourage you to sign up to receive U-M Emergency Alerts if you have not already done so.

Sincerely,

Mike