Compiled by Kayla Tucker – Managing Editor
After the Oct. 1 shooting at Umpqua Community College last week, students at Grand Rapids Community College reacted to the event and how it’s affecting our country.
How do you feel about what happened?
“It is happening a lot.” – Rick Reens, 19, Business and Music major
“I feel unsafe sometimes.” – Courtney Piper, 18, Hospitality major
Do you feel safe on campus?
“Most of the time, sometimes I see people sitting around like they’re not a part of the campus.” – Reens
“Yes, there are the poles around campus, and I carry my own rape whistle from the Raider Rally. I also bring my own pocket knife and pepper spray daily.” – Kaitlynn Dunn, 18, of Kentwood
“Yeah I feel safe. I mean everywhere you go I guess there is risk because there’s bad people out there but, yeah I feel just as safe here as I would anywhere else I go.”
– Eden Vandeguchte, 19, Photography and Business major
Do you ever worry that it might happen here?
“Yes and no, because I think that GRCC has a pretty good security. But no it’s not something that I worry about here at GRCC. I’m sure that there are people here that their mental health isn’t necessarily on par, but no I don’t worry about it here. I worry about my little brother in high school.” – Savannah Miles, 20, International Relations major
What would make you feel safer on campus?
“Guns, and teachers being trained to have guns. Trained veterans in each of the classrooms to take charge in situations like these.” – Dunn
“I would prefer to carry weapons, but I carry my cell phone. I would like to see more police officers in the campus, being able to see them and knowing they are there.”
– Megan Benedict, 19, of Caledonia
“I feel very safe right now, I don’t think that it’s going to happen here but then again, just when you don’t think it’s going to happen is when something like that usually happens.”
How do you feel about this being the 45th U.S. school shooting this year?
“People are crazy, it could be a mental health issue.” – Piper
“45 is a pretty high number…A lot of people do it to get famous, by the news always being there it gets them what they want, the Oregon shooting is not about the shooters, it’s about the victims.” – Reens
“I think it’s ridiculous that it still happens like it happens so often, like, especially in the United States like it’s just something you don’t expect to happen, but it’s happened more often we’re just now [used to it].” -Daniel Blackman, 28
Do you think people are numb to the violence?
“To some extent, yes.” – Reens
“Yes, it happens so often.” – Piper
What are your feelings on the fact that school shootings have become the norm here in America?
“Well I think it’s turning out to be very political, and I think that people’s stance on gun control should be strengthened a little bit. I think that shootings are something that people are very scared of, however people aren’t taking the whole gun control issue into account. Gun control is not being taken seriously.” – Miles
Have any of your professors here talked to you about a plan if something like this was to happen?
“This is my third year here and I have never once had a teacher say anything about a plan. I wouldn’t know where to go if there was a shooter on campus.” – Miles
What are your feelings on the gun control laws of today?
“I’m all for people being allowed to have guns, I come from a family that had guns and it really is about education…there should be certain criteria saying yes you can have a gun or no you cannot have a gun.” -Kelly Pomfret, 44, Science major
“I think that people should have guns…This country was basically formed off of people with guns…it’s not like guns are technically dangerous, it can also be used for hunting, food, stuff like that. (The) government does not have the right to put its citizens under limitations like that. My family owns guns.” -Reyburn
What do you think it’s going to take for situations like these to stop happening?
“There’s always going to be bad people out there who are going to do crazy things like that so I don’t think that banning guns (is) going to help. They’re still going to get their guns. I mean, if that something they’re naturally inclined to do, they’re going to do it whether guns are legal or not. It’s really sad.” -Vandeguchte
The following reporters contributed to this article: