On Thursday, June 12, the Colleges hosted an emergency preparedness conference involving a “mock disaster” and an emergency response drill. The mock disaster included sound simulations– yells, screams, sirens and gun shots. Organized by Student Affairs and Campus Security, the event took place throughout the day. Montrose Streeter, associate dean of campus safety and conduct, and Cal Brown, director of Campus Security, played instrumental roles in planning this conference. “Virginia Tech was higher education’s 9-11,” says Streeter. “In light of this, most campuses are being proactive. It has raised awareness of and preparation for ‘what-ifs.’” The morning consisted of classroom training, an historical overview of school violence and sessions directed at law enforcement training. The mock disaster took place in the afternoon with an active shooter training drill held in Emerson and de Cordova halls. During this drill, the Colleges tested their recently purchased 3-N (National Notification Network) Emergency Notification System among HWS staff on campus. There were law enforcement officials present from the Geneva, Canandaigua, Waterloo and New York State Police Departments, as well as the Ontario County Sheriff’s Department. The conference provided the departments with an opportunity to train their officers for emergencies. Others involved in the drill included staff from Finger Lakes Community College, the Honeoye and Red Jacket School Districts and Geneva General Hospital. Thursday’s emergency preparedness conference was the first in a series for Student Affairs. “It’s our charge to provide a comfortable and safe environment for HWS students,” explains Streeter. “Next week, we’ll evaluate our mock disaster performance. We want to see where we have flaws and become familiar with the procedure so that we can respond appropriately to an emergency.” In the fall, Student Affairs will be handing out emergency response cards to all students, which will include emergency contacts and procedures for a number of potential disasters. These cards will also be laminated and posted in all classrooms. “In an emergency, we want to be prepared,” Streeter says.