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What to do in the event of campus violence

Community members are participating in active violence response training this fall

Safe Campus initiative
“Safe Campus” demonstrates what an actual emergency would look like.

Knowing how to respond in an emergency can save lives. So this fall, Northwestern students, faculty and staff are participating in new campus safety training designed to consider the serious decisions we all would face in an active shooter scenario.

“Preparing for an emergency before one occurs makes you much more likely to be able to respond appropriately if such an event happens,” said Bruce A. Lewis, Northwestern chief of police and associate vice president of safety and security. “It is important to pay attention to where you are and think through what you could do if a threat appears.”

The 20-minute program, “Safe Campus: Active Violence Prevention, Preparation and Response,” is an interactive learning module with additional resources. It also features an accompanying video about the "Run. Hide. Fight." protocol. The video graphically demonstrates what an active shooter incident might look like on the Northwestern campus and how to respond, which could be disturbing for some. Viewer discretion is advised, and alternative content is offered.

Preparing for an emergency before one occurs makes you much more likely to be able to respond appropriately if such an event happens.”

Bruce A. Lewis, chief of police and AVP of safety and security

Research shows that simulated scenarios are effective learning tools, so University officials expect campus community members to complete the training for themselves and the benefit of others.

“The goal is to protect our community by preparing and educating people on their options in case they're involved in an active shooter situation,” said Gregory Klaiber, Northwestern's director of emergency management.

The Department of Safety and Security, including University Police, along with the Behavioral Consultation Team, remind the community that reporting concerning behaviors and being physically and psychologically prepared to handle unexpected emergencies are individual and organizational responsibilities.

In an actual emergency, Northwestern will alert students, staff and faculty via phone, text, email and social media. 

Please review and update your emergency contact information. Outdated information will prevent or delay the delivery of important information during an emergency.

In order to review and update personal emergency information, students can log into CAESAR, and faculty and staff can log into myHR Learn.

The "Safe Campus" program is part of continuing awareness and education activities designed to help make Northwestern a safer and more inclusive campus for everyone.

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