The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

    Sonoma State emergency protocols could use revision

    Shootings can happen in a blink of an eye when you least expect it – anywhere, at any time.

    Grocery stores, churches, malls, and most infamously: schools. 

    So, does Sonoma State already have emergency safety protocols if a shooting happens? 

    The answer is simply yes, but just how effective would those protocols be?

    Since 2020, Associate Vice President for Risk Management and Safety Service, Tyson Hill said that the Covid-19 pandemic has allowed for an opportunity to review and revisit safety protocols “in a different lens.”

    “In the areas of emergency management and campus safety, we made a number of updates to our campus response procedures, the way information flows within the executive leadership and campus emergency response teams. We collaborate with the Chancellor’s office and other campuses in the CSU system when it comes to reviewing and exercising our safety protocols,” said Hill.

    Safety protocols are continuously being updated to ensure that it is inclusive, comprehensive, and thorough. Hill also said that the department has reviewed the Emergency Operations Center to ensure that there is enough staffing to be able to respond in the event of an emergency. 

    In a statement released to the university, Police Chief Nadar Oweis said, “The Sonoma State University Police Department is saddened by the recent spate of mass shootings we’ve seen nationwide, most recently at Michigan State University and El Paso, and closer to home in Half Moon Bay and Monterey Park. Our thoughts remain with the victims, and our deepest condolences go out to their families and friends.”   

          According to the 2023 Campus Safety Plan, there are a number of initiatives that the university has implemented to increase awareness and safety among students. Some of those ways include launching the SafeSSU campaign with a planning committee and website.        Their main goal is to “ensure students could safely demonstrate on matters related to social justice; this plan will serve as a template for future student demonstrations,” according to one of the initiatives.

    An emergency functional exercise was also executed to test emergency response plans at a campuswide full-scale.  

    The Sonoma State police department has also rolled out a new app called Rave Guardian Mobile Safety which is now available in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. The app will allow students to access various procedures in case of an emergency. 

    “If an emergency situation does happen, my first instinct isn’t to be like, ‘where’s the app?’ My first instinct is to run,” said second-year student psych major Mia Perez. She would, however, call the emergency hotline if she were stuck in a classroom or press one of the emergency blue buttons scattered around campus. 

    Perez also said that she would feel safe on campus if there were more student organizations fighting for gun violence. “Of course we want change to happen, but we’ve been fighting for it for so long, I don’t think it’s going to happen anytime soon.” 

    Other students such as second-year pre-nursing student Cristina Lopez said that she would feel safe if the police did regular perimeter checks on campus. Lopez said, “I don’t see them on campus a whole lot. I only see them driving around. However, I feel a little safe because it’s a college campus so I don’t particularly have to know everyone here.”  

    Students are encouraged to visit the Emergency Notification site at to find information about the school’s emergency notification system. 

    Students can also call or text the Sonoma Police Department, or call the number 707-664-4444, if there is an immediate emergency or any suspicious activity. 

    “The safety of our campus and its learning and work environment is a responsibility we all share,” Oweis said. “Together we strive to avert such tragedies here at Sonoma State.”

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