ALiCE training is a good start, but there are some more changes that should be made to improve campus security.

On October 23, 2014, two men walked onto Malvern’s campus with a loaded rifle. The school was put on lockdown, students sat in their classrooms, and the police arrived and stopped them from whatever they were planning on doing.

At the time, I was a young freshman just starting out at Malvern. I remember being in the dark room in my Photography 1 class when we heard over the loudspeaker, “We are in lockdown. This is not a drill.” While I remember hearing that announcement, I also remember not thinking it was true.

Anyone could drive onto Malvern’s campus and walk into one of the buildings, at any time the school is open.

Malvern is located in the middle of Chester County on over 100 acres of its own land. When you are on campus it feels as if you are in one of the safest places in the country, so when I heard that the school was in lockdown, I didn’t believe it.

My photography class was directed to go into the Duffy Theater with the other classes that were taking place in the Duffy Center at that time and the teachers locked all of the surrounding doors. After that, we just sat there in the theater and waited for the situation to be handled.

According to an article in The New York Times, there have been 11 school shootings already in 2018. That is basically one school shooting every other day. No one expects it to be at their school, but time and time again they occur, to the total shock of the victims.

Over the past couple of weeks, students have been taught and practiced ALiCE training. ALiCE stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter, and evacuate. Its purpose is to teach students and teachers what to do in case of a school shooter situation. This was a great topic to teach to students because the old lockdown procedures did not seem to make sense. Locking the doors and sitting away from windows is not really going to stop a person from trying to get into a room.

ALiCE training is also valuable to teach to students because it prepares them for situations they might be in in college, at a concert, or anywhere in public. Unfortunately, mass shootings and attacks have become more common in many places all over the world. It is good to know how to fight for yourself and those around you.

One problem Malvern still has with security is that every door on campus is left unlocked throughout the day. This is a difficult one to fix because of how open Malvern’s campus is. Students and faculty are constantly walking from building to building throughout the school day, and leaving the doors unlocked makes it much easier for everybody.

The problem with this is very obvious. Anyone could drive onto Malvern’s campus and walk into one of the buildings, at any time the school is open.

Many college campuses are similar to Malvern’s, in the fact that they have many different buildings that aren’t connected to each other. The only difference is that many of these schools require some type of ID or key to get into each building.

Malvern should implement some sort of system in which students and staff need to swipe IDs to get into buildings.

“Nothing has happened yet on Malvern’s campus and maybe nothing ever will, but anyone could walk onto campus and get inside a building,” senior Tim McLaughlin said. “I think that some sort of lock or key system would be smart to put in place.”

In talking with the Director of Safety and Security Mr. Steve Lestrange, I found out that Malvern is already planning on implementing this type of lock system.

“We already started the project to switch an ID lock system,” Lestrange said. “We are on target to have every building on campus have these locks by the first day of school next year.”

Lestrange cited that the main reason for this switch was because of how open Malvern’s campus is. “People are constantly coming and going throughout the day and the night and this just gives us an added layer of security,” he said.

Odds are, nothing is going to happen to make Malvern go into another lockdown like the one we had during my freshman year. However, it doesn’t hurt to provide an even safer and more educated environment for everyone on campus.

Eric McLaughlin was the 2017-2018 co-EIC for The Friar’s Lantern. He was on staff for four years, serving as a reporter and social media editor. Eric lives in Media, PA and has two older brothers who both attended Malvern