News and Events

Stockton students react to Michigan State University mass shooting 

On Monday, Feb. 13, 2023, a gunman opened fire at Michigan State University, killing 3 students and injuring 5 others. The victims were identified as students Arielle Anderson, Alexandria Verner, and Brian Fraser. The shooter later took his own life after a manhunt ensued. The shooting came on the eve of the five-year anniversary of the Parkland school shooting in Florida that killed 17 people. 

Events such as this beg the question: How safe are we here at Stockton University? A 2019 crime and safety report from states that “Disciplinary actions account for 86.4% of all crime and safety incidents at the school. Around 5.6% of the crime and safety-related incidents at Stockton University resulted in arrests for possession. About 2.7% of incidents were arrests for major crimes.” 

According to the Stockton University Police Department Crime and Fire log for the 2022–2023 school year, there have been two alleged incidents of unlawful possession of weapons on school grounds since the start of the school year. One claim was unfounded and another claim is currently under police investigation. The full Crime and Fire log can be viewed here.

Student Brianna Barretta commented on the tragedy in Michigan by stating “as a nation we have to deal with this type of incident far too often. Parents should not have to sit around and fear that the call they get from their child’s school will be about a death, and not that they have been an outstanding student. I also believe as a country we have become somewhat desensitized to the idea of mass shootings. We have to deal with the news of these types of incidents multiple times a month which is leaving our population ‘used to’ the news.”

The Argo asked student Dylan Defreese if he feels safe on campus, who answered “I haven’t had any worries of my personal safety on campus or off.” However, DeFreese added that he thinks Stockton could conduct more room checks for student safety and possibly add metal detectors in order to make students feel safer. Defreese also acknowledged that he doesn’t want to feel like he is “walking into a jail” when going to class, either.

When asked if she feels safe on campus, Barretta said “Being a woman on a college campus leaves me a little on edge. I don’t think it even comes down to specific campuses anymore, I think school campuses in general make me a little on edge, and ever since we started to see an immense rise of the presence of mass shootings on college campuses I see myself flinch at loud noises or looking suspiciously at kids who walk into class late and have their hood up.”

Resources are available in the event that an incident should happen on campus. Stockton’s Emergency Alerts text messaging system enables the University to send urgent text messages to subscribers’ cell phones when emergencies occur. The full list of Stockton’s active shooter protocols can be viewed here

Students who see something suspicious on campus should contact the Stockton Police Department at (609) 652-4390.