Students question school's response to gun on campus


Students at Marywood University questioned the response of school officials to an incident with a gun on campus.

Police arrested Alexander Barowski, 28, a Marywood student, for carrying a gun on campus. He's charged with making terroristic threats, simple assault, possession of body armor, and reckless endangerment.

"I felt like they handled it poorly," said Brittany Golas, a graduate student who was on campus at the time. "They let the student body down. I'm disappointed, outraged. All I could do is sit and wait to hear anything. Now we're on day two and we still have yet to hear anything."

Golas said up until Wednesday, she had always felt safe at school, but that changed when she saw officers swarm campus.

"I couldn't believe it. From where I was at, i could see everything unfold. At first, you saw students going to get a bagel and coffee like any normal day. Then all of a sudden SWAT was there and students were running for their lives. I was just sitting there watching because I didn't know if it was fake. We heard rumors."

FOX56 was contacted by someone claiming to work at the school. That person said employees were not made aware of what was happening, and that they found out through Facebook.

"We were debating whether to stay in the classroom or not," recalled Sophomore Briana Caballero. "We exited the building and saw staff and asked if they knew what was going on and they didn't."

Golas is concerned that a text alert only came after the situation was clear.

"The confusion is what really killed us," said Golas. "I didn't know if this was serious threat. Is my life in danger, my friends, should I sit and hide, or book it and get off campus as fast as I can? It shouldn't have been the fact that I was able to wander around campus and up to the buildiing that SWAT was there at. I should not have been able to do that."

Caballero noted that because the person with the gun was a student, sending out a school-wide alert may not have been the best method.

"It might have been risky to send out a notification because he would have gotten it," she said. "He might have panicked and could have done something. The way they handled it was smart, but better protocol should be put in place so in the future if something happens we'll be safer."

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