Staying Safe at Allen


Cynthia Jacobson, the Vice President of Student Affairs made remarks about staying safe in the occurrence of a disaster on campus.

Brogan Falls, News Editor

The quiet campus of Allen Community College seems to be the very definition  of isolation. Very seldom do the students at Allen have to worry about anything out of the ordinary as they go about their daily classes. This is the atmosphere that the students have grown accustomed to, but what should happen if something particularly dangerous and unexpected would occur? Despite the fact Allen seems to be in the middle of nowhere, it is still exposed to disasters, and students should be prepared to deal with these problems if they happen to come about.

One of the most unexpected disasters that can occur is a fire. The standard procedure for a fire is to move outside through the nearest exit as quickly as possible.

There are fire alarms and smoke detectors throughout the building, and if one would happen to go off, people should move to evacuate.

— Cynthia Jacobson, Vice President for Student Affairs

This rule seems to be ignored by many of the students in the residence halls. There have been many occasions in which the fire alarm has sounded, and yet, only a few students leave the building upon hearing it. Ryan Bilderback, Director of Student Life and housing, shared his opinion on the matter.

“In a residence hall setting where students have access to stoves and other means of cooking, some students are not the most experienced and typically burn their food,” said Bilderback. “In such a case as this, I believe students should evacuate even if they are in the room and know it is not a big deal, because it is better to understand the potential danger of fires.”

Kansas is notoriously known for being in “tornado alley.” These storms seem to happen during a time when it is particularly warm outside such as early Fall and Spring.

“It is fairly uncommon to experience one (a tornado) during the day because they happen typically towards the evening, but if one were to be near campus students should head to the Barclay lecture hall or the lower level of Horton hall,” Jacobson explained the procedure for a tornado on campus.

Jacobson also mentioned that it especially important for the residential students to know this information because tornadoes commonly happen during the evening hours after classes are out for the day.

Unfortunately, we live in a time where school invasions are becoming more frequent, but fortunately the college has recently started a program to better ensure the security of staff and students alike. The name of the program is the A.L.I.C.E Program (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evaluate). The program aims to train staff on what to do in the event of a school intruder.

“Residence hall staff, as well as myself, go through this training at the beginning of the year every year to prepare us to be able to lead students if an active killer is on campus,” said Bilderback.

Bilderback also mentioned that in the Fall of 2018  that students will also be put through this training to better protect each other in the event of a school invasion.

The likelihood of these disasters striking Allen is minimal, but it is always best to be prepared for such situations. More information on procedures for these events, as well as others, can be found within the student handbook or on the college website. Students and staff alike are advised to at least have a brief understanding about these procedures, because it may just make a difference and keep you safe in these situations.