Run, hide and fight. These are the survival tactics the UTSA Emergency Response Guide advises in case of an active shooter on campus. Run: evacuate immediately if there is an escape route nearby; leave your belongings behind; do not try to move wounded people; and prevent others from entering the area. Hide: if you cannot evacuate, try to find a protected shelter out of the way of the shooter and silence your cell phone. Fight: if you cannot hide, be aggressive and commit to defensive actions against an attacker if chosen to do so. Additionally, the university emphasizes calling the police once you are safe and complying with law enforcement.
Sophomore accounting major Natalie Moreno said, “I don’t believe we have many options in the event of an emergency like that. I guess the university gave good advice, but I don’t like the part about fighting back—I feel that is adding to the problem in a way.”
However, senior Jose Lopez has a different view: “I think the policies are great. It’s an emergency, and most people can’t think in the moment like that. Running would be my first response, but if I had to fight, I would. I think most people would agree.”
All UTSA faculty and staff are required to participate in active shooter training. In addition to the mandatory university-wide training, the Floor Captain Safety Liaison Program exists for the sole purpose of equipping volunteer employees with the knowledge and skills required to assist others during an emergency on campus. Floor captains also assist responders in evacuating and provide aid to those requiring physical assistance buildings. These volunteers undergo extensive training, including hands-on experience.
This past summer, the UTSA Office of Information Technology’s (OIT) Video Production Group (VPG) collaborated with UTSA’s Police Department to produce an active shooter training video. Survival tactics in the video include “avoid,” “deny” and “defend.” This approach means leave the area as soon as possible and call 911; lock yourself into your location if possible; and remain quiet and prepare to protect yourself. This video is expected to be completed by the end of the fall 2017 semester. Additional resources are available on both UTSAPD’s and UTSA Alerts website.