• As a graduate of the Western journalism school, I am disappointed in the apparent lack of thought that went into the publishing of this article. It feels irresponsible to publish an article detailing the way that a shooter could potentially cause the most harm and casualties if attacking the school. Someone could literally read this article and use it as a guide for their attack. Listing the buildings that have doors that are unable to be barricaded and that have doors that cannot be locked is a level of information that isn’t necessarily important for this article but would be incredibly valuable for someone whose goal is to cause harm. While addressing that Western is unprepared for this kind of incident is important, making these kind of details publicly available is disappointing.

    • Hello, Emily. I am the current editor-in-chief of the paper. I wanted to thank you for your comment and offer some explanation for why we published this story the way we did. I have seen that often, in cases related to security, people feel that writing about gaps or areas for concern puts security at risk. While I do understand the concern, I wonder how we as a community can identify and address these areas of concern if we do not expose them. I have spoken to Western employees who have expressed their concerns about this situation to the administration for years, yet nothing has happened. To me, it seems this article was necessary in order to start a serious discussion. As you can see in our follow up article, Western has reactivated a locking committee and has started discussing this issue. As for listing the buildings, I do understand your concern, but the Front found that basically every academic building had doors that could not lock or opened into the hallway. We could have just said that, but either way, it would have exposed the same information. I do understand your concern, and you are absolutely not the only person to express them, but I disagree, as I feel it is in the public interest to address this issue now, rather than in retrospect.

  • Did anyone address fire safety or other evacuation protocols re the IRC and public occupancy spaces? Doors tend to swing outward and not lock for safety reasons. There are no doubt many doors on campus designed expressly for that purpose, and I’m disappointed that neither the WF or Rasmussen addressed the conflict apparent between locking doors and emergency evacuation contingency. Perhaps you should follow-up with WWU EHS about it. There are many situations where doors open outward, locked from the outside, but functioning normally from the inside. That might make an interesting article, and leave readers more knowledgeable and prepared for a variety of emergency situations.

    • Hi, Chris. I’m the editor-in-chief of The Western Front. We are writing follow up stories about this and will be looking into this concern and your idea. Thank you for commenting.

  • Since our high school shooting here in NE Ohio in 2012, we have dedicated ourselves to securing this last line of defense during a hostile intruder attack. Please consider http://www.doorbearacade.com. We would be happy to work with anyone on campus or in the administration. Thank you.

    • Hi, Bill. I’m the editor-in-chief of The Western Front. We would be interested in talking to you. I will forward your email to a reporter. Thank you.

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