Amid the rapidly rising rate of school shootings in the U.S., ASU has created a new instructional safety video on what to do in the unlikely event that there is an active shooter on campus.
The approximately 10-minute video was created by Student Creative Services, a University’s program in which students participate in the production of a number of multimedia for ASU. The video stars ASU Police Department Crime Prevention Officer Rebecca Garcia instructing students on the best actions to take if an active shooter is on campus.
Garcia saw the making of this video as a great opportunity to share important information with students and faculty.
“What we want to make sure everybody understands is that they can take action and help themselves in a situation before (police) can get there,” she said. “It always takes us three, four, five minutes to be able to respond after the first 9-1-1 call unless we happen to be on the scene.”
Garcia added that the video is not meant to instill fear into students and faculty but to prepare them for such an event.
“When flight attendants give us information when we’re ready to go on a flight, they’re not trying to scare us,” she said. “What they’re trying to do is help us be prepared if something does happen. (This video) is doing the same thing.”
Workplace safety training manager Rick Bauer worked as the project manager on the video which he said began production a little over a year ago.
He said that while it is very unlikely for an active shooter situation to arise on an ASU campus, it is still important to prepare students and faculty alike for such an event to occur.
“It’s something that we need to be prepared for in case it does happen,” Bauer said.
He said that while many videos such as this one have been made by the Department of Homeland Security and other universities, a lot of those videos focus less on educating their audiences and a bit more on the drama of the situation.
Bauer said the main focus when making this video was presenting students and faculty with their options and the best course of action while still remaining respectful covering such a sensitive topic.
He said one of the students working on the video knew someone who was involved in an active shooter situation and was questioning whether or not she wanted to be involved with the project.
"Once she saw the messaging … she realized that this is a message that needs to get out to prevent anyone else being injured," he said. "It’s a very emotional topic where people see that and they get fearful or afraid, and I think how you avoid fear and panic is always through knowing what to do given a certain situation."
Jacob Kaufman, who works in Student Creative Services, said the writing of the video took more than six months as the script writers wanted to be as sensitive and informative as possible.
“The original couple of drafts of the script were much more dramatic in tone,” he said.
Kaufman said one of the major decisions in order to make the video less dramatic was not to show the shooter in the situation.
“We felt it wasn’t necessary and we could get our point across without actually showing someone like that and also not putting someone in that position,” he said.
Bauer also said that after watching the video, students and faculty can reach out to ASU PD for more in-depth training for what to do in an active shooter situation.
He said that although the video will help its viewers learn what may be the best actions to take, there is no one right answer for what to do in the case of such an event.
However, Bauer said knowing one’s options is better than going into an active shooter situation completely blind.
“During a panic situation, it’s most likely muscle memory kicking in,” he said. “If they’ve already thought about what to do if this were to happen, they get out and they’re more likely to survive a situation like this.”
Overall, Kaufman said even though the chances of an active shooter situation are slim, it's worth it for students to watch the video.
“If the cost of knowing what to do in the situation is just watching a 10-minute video and having watched that can save someone’s life … that’s a good tradeoff,” Kaufman said.