UH Hilo Receives Gun Violence Threat on Campus

UH alert system alerts students of gun violence threat Monday morning

Editor-in-Chief Peter Holden Chao
9/10/18 Photo Courtesy of Raiatea Arcuni

Students walking through campus center

Today at 10:33 a.m. the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo used their alert system via email to alert all faculty, staff, students and UH Emergency Managers that they had received a report of someone threatening gun violence on campus. The alert also said that the Hawaiʻi Police Department had been notified and was on-site. The alert concluded, “We advise that people on campus shelter in place.”

For 20 minutes, students and faculty alike wondered what to do, where to find shelter, and what the safety protocol for faculty, staff, and students is.

“A couple of people posted up by the doors. I found the light switch, killed it, and hid under the professor’s desk next to another,” said UH Hilo student Lawrence Murray, who was in a history class in the University Classroom Building. “We all basically hid under desks.”

HCC student Faron Kaupu was in The Learning Center during the threat. He told Ke Kalahea, “There’s no PA system on campus. Not every student has a cell phone or can use it in class. If not, you have to be able to check your email. You have to be at a computer. In times like this it’s dangerous not being able to get the information when you need it. That’s something the school needs to think about.”

Ke Kalahea reached out to Kalei Rapoza , Interim Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs, regarding safety protocols for students and professors in the case of a gun threat, as well as asked for more information regarding the nature of the threat. According to the Hawaiʻi Police Department, they have a suspect in custody. Information will be provided when it is received.

For students seeking counseling services you can email uhhcouns@hawaii.edu or call (808) 932-7465.