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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Megan Voorhees
Megan Voorhees
Assistant News Editor

Hi! I’m Megan Voorhees and I’m the Assistant News Editor at The Northwind! I was first introduced to journalism my sophomore year of high school and I’ve been in love with the profession and writing...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Active shooter policy required for faculty

Continuing efforts to create a prepared and aware campus community, Northern Michigan University is requiring all employees to review active shooter training materials.

The employees can access the training materials-which consist of a Power Point presentation and a short video-online through the NMU system. Completion of the process is mandatory for university employees and must be done by April 15.

Mike Bath, assistant director for safety and training at Public Safety, said that the need for this type of training has become more obvious, citing recent shootings in Alabama, Illinois and Germany.

“We felt we needed to do it to provide some awareness training and some things you can do to protect yourself and others in the event something like this were to happen,” Bath said.

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The fact that the materials are available online should make it easier for employees to do the training at their leisure, according to Cindy Paavola, NMU director of communications and marketing and a member of NMU’s Emergency Response Team.

“We’ve had this technology for a long time, so it wasn’t that we changed something with our technology this year,” she said. “I think there is just a growing sense across the country that there seems to be more incidents of active shooting crises. It’s just a responsible thing to do.”

Paavola said that this is the first time in memory that NMU has required any sort of training for an immediate danger, like an active shooter. She added that while plans may not always play out perfectly in a live scenario, the hope is that through repetition, people will be able to respond appropriately.

“No matter how much training we give faculty and staff, if there is ever actually an active shooting situation, it will be chaotic,” Paavola said. “It will be terribly frightening, but as the video points out, the more times you have trained for this, the more times you’ve thought about it, the more aware you are, the more your chances of making the right move increase.”

Bath said that NMU President Les Wong urged the creation of the program and felt that the information was important to disseminate throughout the campus community. To further that goal, Bath is giving face-to-face presentations to any on-campus department that is interested. To this point, he said he has given about 15 of these presentations.

“The advantage of face-to-face training, obviously, is that everyone hears the question-and-answer sessions,” Paavola said.

Bath concurred, saying some of the question-and-answer sessions have lasted 45 minutes or longer.

Paavola estimated that around 500 NMU employees had completed the training and said that the university would like to eventually make the presentation available to students, as well.

Bath said his main hope is that the training will create a dialogue among employees and will lead to better awareness within the campus community.

“Like the president (Les Wong) talks about, we would rather have a plan in place and not have to use it, than need a plan and not have thought about it,” he said.

“And I hope it’s training we never have to use.”

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