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  • Ian Livingston Brooking

How to stay S.A.F.E. at Coastal Carolina

On May 18, Dimitrios Pagourtzis opened fire on classmates at Sante Fe High School in Sante Fe, Texas, killing 10 people and injuring 13 others.

The shooting at Santa Fe High School made it only the eighth time that 10 or more persons had been killed on a school campus. However, this was the second time in 2018 that 10 or more people had been killed on a school campus. The other incident happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where 17 people were killed.

In light of the recent school shootings, Coastal Carolina wants to remind both students and faculty about S.A.F.E. Training.

Lieutenant Robert Pellerin of the Coastal Carolina Department of Public Safety talked about how this new program came to Coastal’s campus.

“S.A.F.E. Training came about when myself, Chief David Roper and a few other officers attended a safety conference at Furman University,” said Pellerin. “Furman had this type of program implemented at their university through the National Association of Campus Administrators. The program was developed to gear towards colleges and universities and I thought it was very simplified and really hit the points that were necessary to keep students and faculty members safe.”

Pellerin says that while there was active shooter training in place, Pellerin believed that the S.A.F.E. Training that was implemented at Furman was a lot simpler.

“The program we were doing in the past essentially had the same tools, same ideas and concepts,” said Pellerin. “However, this program at Furman was a lot more simplified in the safe response to violence. I thought that was better because we need people to react and respond appropriately and quickly in an active shooter situation.”

While the S.A.F.E. Training program is rather new to Coastal’s campus, Pellerin talked to about the importance of the training being offered across campus.

“I think it is extremely important for everybody to hear the information,” said Pellerin. “This training isn’t limited to faculty and staff only. It is open to everyone on campus and I think it is important for students to know what they should and shouldn’t do in an active shooter incident or some type of armed aggressor incident that could take place on campus.”

Since the active shooter training is relatively new on Coastal’s campus, there are a lot of students who know of its existence.

Rylee Atteberry, a sophomore from Aurora, Colorado, talked about how she feels about her safety campus after her hometown experienced a mass shooting in 2012.

“I haven’t felt safe in public places since the Aurora shooting,” said Atteberry. “I am always hyper-aware in public situations. It has become second nature. The recent shooting in Santa Fe, as tragic as it was, just reaffirms my reasoning for being that way.”

Atteberry did not know about S.A.F.E. Training but says she will make it a point to attend a session and get her friends to go as well.

“I will definitely be encouraging others to look into it,” said Atteberry.

Martha Hunn, Associate Vice President of University Communication, gave her thoughts on S.A.F.E. Training and how it has impacted not just Coastal’s campus but the Horry County community.

“Something I really appreciate about the S.A.F.E. Program is that the University is leading the way in the community with this particular training,” said Hunn. “Lieutenant Pellerin has gone out into the community and trained corporate companies in the S.A.F.E. Training Program. Companies have asked him to come in and help train their employees on S.A.F.E.”

While S.A.F.E. Training is open to all students, Hunn says that S.A.F.E. Training might make its way into First-Year Experience classes.

“Having S.A.F.E. Training in First-Year Experience classes encourages more consistency in students engaging in the process,” said Hunn.

There will be two S.A.F.E. Training programs offered in the month of July. The first is scheduled for Thursday, July 12 at 10 a.m. in the Alford Ballroom in Atheneum Hall. The second training will be offered on Monday, July 30 at 3 p.m. in room 101 of Britain Hall.

To sign up for S.A.F.E. Training, visit the Training, Development and Service Excellence page on Coastal’s website. Once on that page, you will be able to see all the types of programs that CCU has to offer and register for the S.A.F.E. program.

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