Date: Wed Feb 20 09:58:08 2008 Back to Contents
Author: Bill Norwood
Subject: Re: Lecture Hall Security - Could Education Work?
Sometimes the stuff most important to read is written by persons not the
best at aligning support for an issue, but, given the unanimously judged
importance of shootings at campuses for students and academic employees, I
am surprised that you did not read all of my letter, while overlooking my
apparently low PR skill.
I wrote that letter at a time of extreme frustration (for a few years) at
the local reluctance to adopt a policy more protective of University
students and others. By that time I actually was beginning to accept that,
indeed, that may be the reality, we just will have to accept a few murders
as the "cost of doing business" as with cars we accept tens of thousands of
deaths per year - perhaps I should not let myself get so upset about the
loss of a life or two every now and then.
But, then, where are the persons who are good at aligning support for an
issue such as this? Where is anyone who has succeeded in getting a
comprehensive policy in place at a large University which would teach all of
those on campus more about the symptoms of an individual who is
deteriorating, and would thus most likely decrease the incidence of violence
on or near Campus involving University personnel?
Most of that aside, I do appreciate your advice, and do stay safe.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On
Behalf Of Machele Kindle
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2008 5:24 PM
Subject: Re: [tap-l] Lecture Hall Security - Could Education Work?
I understand your letter is opinion and I'm actually not commenting on
the content, in fact, I didn't read it all. I got stuck at the first
sentence. Starting it off by minimizing the importance of lives and
their subsequent injury or death is NOT the best way to begin what you
hope is a winning argument. Presentation is as important as content. If
your opening is sarcastic, think about changing the tone...I'm betting
if I got stuck, others will, too.
Bill Norwood wrote:
> Hi Taplers,
> For those wishing for some sort of Campus personnel policy change that
> might possibly decrease the likelihood of campus shootings I share the
> following Letter to the Editor (not published) relating to my efforts
> here at U of MD:
> Date: May 2, 2003
> From: Bill Norwood, Technician, Physics Dept, x5-6006,
> Senator for Technical and Paraprofessional Staff 1999-2002
> To: U of MD Diamondback, South Campus Dining Hall
> Subject: Safety Net for Students and Others
> Dear editor,
> OK, so we lose one or two to violence every now and then (recent
> Diamondback articles about Ki-Seong Kim and Elizabeth Meejung Lee
> shootings), but is that sufficient reason to change University Policy
> about educating campus employees and students about how to recognize
> when persons might be deteriorating psychologically? According to
> Devlin and Watzin's, Apr 30, Breaking the Silence, this case isn't
> just about an occasional shooting death/injury it is about prevalent
> domestic violence. They relate that women aged 16-24 have the highest
> rate of intimate partner violence. And they list abusive dating
> behaviors that might lead to violence, including controlling, jealous,
> isolating or dominating behavior as well as stalking, intimidation and
> threats. And they relate that persons outside such relationships are
> "hesitant to point out concerns about abusive behavior."
> I maintain that if persons are educated by the Health Center and the
> Counseling Center about how to recognize and what to do, then they
> will not be so hesitant. But, the Health Center and Counseling Center
> told me that they were already performing outstanding work in this
> area when I questioned them in a University Senate Student Affairs
> Committee meeting on March 8, 2002. They let me know that my Proposal
> for a Safety Net for Students was redundant.
> At the meeting I learned that an instructional pamphlet already exists
> for faculty and staff. Apparently this pamphlet has been provided by
> the Counseling Center for about 15 years, Problem is that as a 32-year
> staff employee I had never seen it and I couldn't establish that many
> others at the meeting had either. I was told that sometimes there were
> no funds for printing the pamphlet and that departments may exercise
> discretion on distribution. I never identified a pamphlet intended for
> On Apr 4, 2002, after the meeting, I sent a letter, subject: Safety
> Net For Students and Others to the Chair of the Senate including the
> following abbreviated comments and 3 suggestions:
> Perhaps there is a question about the ability of some campus employees
> and students to respond in an appropriate manner to psychological
> scenarios. Such a question, of course, mainly results in a
> continuation of the inability of a great majority of persons to
> respond appropriately - exactly because they do not receive
> information. Why is it that everyone should know how to respond if
> he/she were to find a campus community member unconscious on the
> sidewalk, but should not know how to respond if perhaps that same
> person had been suggesting a death plan or an atypically risky behavior?
> 1. that a pamphlet be developed that would aid students in recognizing
> deterioration in other students and in responding appropriately. In
> many cases a student could do this because of having known the person
> for a few years in high school. Also students are around other
> students more of the time, and some will share their tribulations only
> with other students.
> 2. that consideration in the pamphlet-making be given to spotting
> faculty and staff who may be deteriorating. If I had been educated on
> this matter back in the 1960's when I was a student here I might have
> been able to do something useful when a professor was becoming
> delusional while teaching one of my courses. Later this person became
> violent and a danger to self and others
> 3. that faculty and staff in departments be advised in print, on
> paper, of the availability of the pamphlets as well as guidelines for
> their distribution. Surely if practically anyone can access training
> in cardiopulmonary resuscitation as well as various other life-saving
> first aid procedures, practically anyone, if properly informed, could
> respond in psychological situations.
> To my knowledge there has been no further action on my proposal
> This morning, May 2, I interviewed 24 undergraduate students and none
> of them had received information from the University instructing them
> on this matter, but 3 of them had encountered instruction in courses.
> 5 graduate students had encountered some material, sometimes only
> verbally. 2 graduate students had seen more ambitious programs at
> other schools.
> My request is that all persons who were aware of events and behaviors
> that led to this tragedy or other tragedies need to figure out whether
> any of the subject information from the Health Center or the
> Counseling Center ever reached them. If there was insufficient
> information, then I believe that these persons could drive some change
> in University Policy and perhaps perform periodic follow-ups.
> Bill Norwood
For in the end, we will conserve only what we love.
We will love only what we understand.
We will understand only what we are taught. - Baba Dioum
Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering
Arizona State University
From firstname.lastname@example.org Wed Feb 20 09:58:08 2008