Maggie Reid, Assistant Features Editor
What started off as a usual Monday the week before spring break turned into a scary and stressful day for most students. Around 11 a.m., students received text messages stating that the college was on lockdown due to a “real and credible” threat.
For most of the day, students were kept in place while they waited for officials to evacuate them to safe locations.
Fahrudin Omerovic, a Utica College student, was found to have made these threats and was later arrested. Omerovic was charged with four counts of making a terroristic threat.
Following the lockdown, junior Madison Burnham still feels nervous walking into the classroom where she and other students were kept.
“Other than that, I don’t have any more concerns or fears,” Burnham said. “During the lockdown, however, different words meant different things to different people, which caused a lack of understanding and added to student’s fears.”
Junior Amanda Carollo has experienced lockdowns at her high school, so this was nothing new.
“I’ve experienced this before, so it didn’t really affect me as much,” Carollo said.
However, she did note improvements needed to be made.
“I feel like there should’ve been more feedback,” Carollo said. “People were saying all kinds of different things during this, nobody really knew what was happening. Social media was a big issue as well.”
Sophomore Laura Graves wasn’t on campus when the lockdown occurred, however the next day she was able to see her roommates reactions to the event.
“I wasn’t here, so it didn’t affect me as much,” Graves said. “Coming back the next day, I saw how my roommates and friends acted, they still had questions about everything that happened. I wasn’t here to have personal experience, I didn’t feel the same or have the same perspective that everyone else had.”
Following the lockdown, senior Taylor Osowski doesn’t have any more concerns.
“I’m glad they caught the guy and I feel safer now because of that,” Osowski said. “I think the police and officials on campus during and after did a really good job to keep us safe and to make improvements after the fact.”
Like Carollo, Osowski agreed that social media played a big problem adding to students stress during the lockdown
“Social media had a very negative role because rumors got passed around really quickly,” Osowski said. “Nobody knew what was going on and it heightened everyone’s fear and anxiety. During the lockdown, the only real way it was useful was to alert everyone to the fact that a lockdown was occurring.”
Following the experience, it is understandable for students to still have fears and concerns.
“The biggest thing is to talk with people, which doesn’t necessarily mean you have to come into counseling center,” said Alison Franklin, director of the counseling center. “This can mean staff, friends, or other people on campus in order to understand that you are not alone in feeling that way. It can also help to stay active, busy and positive.”
Stress is also a symptom that can arise from this experience. While a little bit of stress can be good and help keep you alert and productive, too much can cause physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms.
Some physical symptoms include fatigue, sleep difficulties, headaches, a weakened immune system and nausea. Emotional symptoms include loss of motivation, anxiety, depression or sadness, restlessness and inability to focus. Behavioral symptoms can include drug or alcohol use, unhealthy eating and social withdrawal.
The counseling center is located in Strebel Room 204 and is open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Make an appointment by calling (315) 792-3094 or e-mailing [email protected]