Communications Professor Vera Holder acted like a hero when campus security left her and her students to fend for themselves in a dangerous situation on March 19.
After reading a threatening note that included the words “shoot” and “head” left on a desk by a suspicious individual, Holder secured her students in a locked office and proceeded to call campus security.
A quick response by campus safety officers is what should have happened next. Instead, she was directed to voicemail both times she made the call.
Holder was left with no other choice but to dial 911 and contact the city police.
Campus security arrived only after a helicopter and several officers from the Santa Ana Police Department were dispatched to the scene.
Last year, district officials approved a $500,000 plan to arm campus security officials, citing student safety as a reason.
After quelling opposition from concerned students, the plan was approved. Since then, the armed officers that were hired have earned the trust of students and faculty. It was a good idea.
But on a Saturday where there were few students on campus Holder and her class felt threatened, they were left to defend themselves. Armed or not, the safety officers on campus can make no difference if they do not answer the calls.
Whether it was a communication breakdown or negligence on behalf of an unarmed, part-time security employee, the safety of students and faculty at an institution of learning should have no margin of error.