Thirty-seven minutes after a University of Colorado freshman was reported stabbed on campus last week, the school sent e-mails and text messages alerting some 1,300 students, faculty and staff that a suspect had been apprehended in an attack and that parts of campus were closed. That quick response demonstrates one of the changes at colleges in the post-Virginia Tech world, reports Stateline.org. The April 16 shooting on the Blacksburg, Va., campus, where a disturbed college senior killed 32 students and professors before turning the gun on himself, is spurring a new look at how colleges handle students with mental health problems, guns on campus and especially campus security.
Emergency text-messaging systems are turning de rigueur on campuses. Unarmed campus police officers are pushing for the right to carry guns. Universities are increasing mental health services and setting up teams to spot troubled students earlier. Many schools already have tightened security. This year, freshmen orientations across the country have included sessions on safety, and several colleges have held drills simulating a shooter on campus. Some, including Virginia Tech, have installed locks inside the doors of classrooms.