Silence from STLCC-Meramec after attack

Unfortunately for STLCC-Meramec, it made headlines this week and for all the wrong reasons, again. A male allegedly attacked a female student in a women’s restroom, putting her in a choke hold intending to kill her and scratching her face. A faculty member in a nearby classroom heard the commotion and helped restrain the male until nearby campus police officers arrested him. Meramec did everything right at this point and should be applauded for it. It was a seemingly random attack with no warning. After the situation concluded, it made its mistake. A quote from the Post-Dispatch article:

[Meramec police chief] Banta would not identify the male student, citing an ongoing investigation. He said police did not publicize the incident immediately after the attack because they already had the man in custody.

“We didn’t see the need to cause hysteria on the campus,” Banta said. “I don’t think we had anything to gain when the guy is under arrest and the threat was eliminated.”

Wrong. Everything the school had to gain was lost when they didn’t communicate the attack outside of those directly involved. I could cite numerous incidents at colleges across the country over the years with increased focus given to student safety as a result. That should be the upmost priority and part of making students feel they are on a safe campus is by directly communicating with them any and all incidents as soon as possible. More after the twitter a exchange with @STLCC about the attack.

There was a problem connecting to Twitter.
There was a problem connecting to Twitter.
There was a problem connecting to Twitter.
There was a problem connecting to Twitter.
There was a problem connecting to Twitter.

I’ve been one of STLCC’s most vocal critics, including of its social media use (which to their credit is much, much better since that was published). More recently it made national headlines with a video that went viral of a fight on the Meramec campus. I was unaffiliated with the student paper at the time of the fight and saw the video on my facebook feed prior to any local or national attention. My Storify of the video led to the coverage.

I’m critical, but I truly just want it to succeed for the numerous things the school does so well and stop leaving itself open to bad publicity. Incidents, like this attack, unfortunately are going to happen at some point. Get ahead of the story by swiftly communicating with students & faculty when it comes to student safety. Take the lead with distributing information. Students shouldn’t get first word of campus safety incidents from third-parties. Period.

Have an opinion? The best way to have your voice heard is by attending the STLCC Board of Trustees meeting this Thursday, April 24th at the Forest Park campus. 

  • g3

    fair analysis