After much discussion at its meeting Friday afternoon, the Graduate and Professional Student Government passed a resolution which would provide an active shooter response workshop for graduate students.
Before the vote many were concerned about the resolution, which would also work to increase awareness of existing resources, like Protect IU.
Some members of GPSG who had gone through the active shooter training in previous years said they felt some of the material in the course could be traumatizing to those who are sensitive to violence. They argued the training should be amended to accommodate students who might be triggered by the simulated terror.
“I found that training to be really upsetting and traumatic,” said Shadia Siliman, a representative from the Department of Gender Studies. “They included a video that was paid actors screaming and action music in the background, which I think was a really bad move. If anything, take out this awful video or any other content that scares people or could make them nervous during training.”
Students also noted the training didn’t address the root problem of school shooters and their motivations and training was not an effective solution.
“This is a short-term solution,” Siliman said. “It’s a band-aid. I don’t want us to resort to things like active shooter training because that’s not a solution to the problem. People don’t shoot each other en masse because we don’t have active shooter training.”
Others argued being prepared for an active shooter was better than being unprepared, even if the training was not a perfect solution.
“The resolution is something that’s really important,” said Emma Frieh, a representative from the Department of Sociology. “As much as we want to prevent this from happening, it happens, and it’s happening more and more.”
Other representatives said active shooter training went beyond their own safety and would affect the lives of their families and children.
The resolution overwhelmingly passed, with only three members abstaining from the vote.
Other resolutions brought to the table included a proposal to create an Alcoholics Anonymous group targeted specifically at graduate students. The resolution also sought to increase awareness of alcohol abuse among graduate students.
Some representatives said an Alcoholics Anonymous group would be overly focused on Christian doctrine and would not accommodate students of other faiths, while others said GPSG’s first steps should be to decrease the number of social events that take place in bars or other places that serve drinks. After some debate, the resolution passed unanimously.
Additionally, minor changes were proposed to the GPSG constitution. The changes included shifting budget proposals to the spring semester, eliminating the role of parliamentarian and requiring every department to have elections for GPSG representatives to increase enthusiasm for participating in student government. The resolutions were not binding and were only meant to gauge the opinion of the assembly.
Some members were opposed to having mandatory elections because their departments already have competitive elections and do not appoint members who don’t want to serve, but the resolution passed with seven votes no and six abstaining.