For one of most high profile universities in Kenya, Strathmore University sure had a careless scandal on Monday, 30th November. Carrying out security drills is definitely important considering the terror attacks and threats that have been taking place in the country, most recently at Garissa University where hundreds of lives were lost, but you ought to at least warn the students and staff.
After hearing what they thought were live bullets being fired, Strathmore students were terrified. Some even attempted to jump off the third floor of the building. This whole ordeal left one member of the staff dead and many others injured.
What is even more shocking is that Vice Chancellor went on national television saying that even he had no clue that the drill was to be conducted and in that manner! That must have been comforting for the family of the deceased. Most students went home that day without really knowing what went down at their school, terrified and confused and certainly with no apology from the school, just a statement stating that they will take care of the medical bills for the people who incurred injuries.
The statement written by the Communication Director of the school also stated that the drill was conducted in liaison with OCPD, Lang’ata with many thanks and that it was unfortunate that the students panicked. Of course they panicked!
Firstly, it was exam week. Many students were either in class or the library stressed out for their papers. Imagine you are sitting in class and then you hear gunshots!! After Garissa, some people would pee their pants.
Secondly, why were the cops using live bullets?? If its a drill, are you planning on having some stray bullet hit a student? Ya that would be a really good story on the news.
The advice I can give the school is:
- Communicate with your students and staff, Communication Director.
- Be nice. Say you’re sorry to your students (early enough) and inform them of a scheduled drill next time.
- Take part in some CSR. Clean up Nairobi or feed some hungry kids, whatever it is, let people forget that incident QUICKLY!
- Lawyer up!
Kenyatta University conducted a security drill and the students had lots of fun during the drill. It hurts not to involve your students.
By Olivia Mukora.