On the night of September 3, at approximately 10 P.M., there was a HOPE Alert, which is the notification system used by Hope College and its Campus Safety department to quickly relay pertinent information to its students and staff.
The Hope Alert stated that there was a suspect in a deadly crime near campus. This crime occurred at 16th street and college avenue and involved the use of a deadly weapon. This necessitated a lock down of campus. The lock down lasted from 9:55 P.M., to 10:48 P.M. During this time, the process of locking all buildings with electronic and manual locks began. Students that were inside
campus buildings took the proper precautions. Those that were either walking on-campus or off-campus were alerted and were told to find shelter.
Locking down all of the campus buildings took approximately one hour. An hour later, the all-clear was announced, but it also told students to proceed with caution. As the events unfolded the campus held its collective breath. As of today, the suspect has not been apprehended but fortunately, no Hope students were involved. This incident falls under the statute, which is listed on Campus Safety’s website, of “the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act or Clery Act, which is is a federal statute that requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses.” This exists in the form of stats, which include the number of incidents reported on campus, other incidents such as fires, sexual assaults, etc.
This is provided to the public so that they can gauge the risk and rewards on campus and to be more aware of the environment in which schools, such as Hope College, exist in. With the prevalence of mass shootings and assaults firmly in center field, having the important and correct information is important to understanding what to do and where to go in case of a emergency. This incident underscores the need for continued cooperation between campus safety and Hope students. Being a responsible person not only involves taking your own precautions but also relaying information to the proper channels and the proper people.
If a dangerous situation arises, you should not attempt to handle it on your own. First find shelter and then alert the authorities, or if you cannot find shelter immediately, run as far from the danger as you can. Since there is always the possibility of future crime on or near Hope’s campus, make sure you know your stats. And also, know your surroundings so that you can help stop future crimes.