By Hailey Nettler
For all my friends and family, especially out of state, I am okay and home safe. Please keep our campus in your thoughts and prayers
- Nov. 28 Facebook post from Michelle Kostyak, 2014 WHS grad and Ohio State University junior
The post above was just one of many written on Nov. 28, as a shelter in place was called at Ohio State University. And although it turned out not to be a shooter, that was all students knew at the time of the attack.
“OSU alerted everyone… about an active shooter. This was kind of a misconstrued message since the only ‘shooter’ was the police officer,” said OSU junior and 2014 WHS graduate Nora Moriarty. “However, I think after hearing gunshots, thinking there is a shooter on campus is an immediate reaction and it definitely sent a message that this is a serious situation.”
OSU freshman Abdul Razak Ali Artan had driven onto campus that Monday morning, striking students and faculty along a sidewalk with the car he was driving. He then got out of his car and attacked others with a knife, according to cnn.com. When Artan disobeyed police orders to stop, Officer Alan Horujko shot Artan, stopping the attack in under two minutes.
“Throughout the incident, me, some of my roommates and some of the guys that live next door who are all best friends all sat on our couch, watching the local news for about three hours, kind of blankly staring at the TV and crying while we answered texts and calls from our families and friends,” said Kostyak.
“I was late for class and I got the alert as I was rushing down the stairs to make it to McPherson which is a building near 18th and College,” said Charlie O’Brien, a WHS alumna and OSU sophomore. “The attack happened on 19th and College. If I was on time, I would've been crossing that street when it happened. My roommate was on time for her class and saw someone get hit by a car. I guess I was lucky.”
Timing is everything. Events like this happen so quickly, there is barely enough time to think. OSU needed a clear security process and a quick response; it had them both. Although these instances can really paralyze the community of college campuses, OSU reacted impressively fast, ending a problem that could have had deadlier consequences.
In October of 2015, Time Magazine recorded 23 college shootings in 2015 alone. These attacks may or may not make students, especially high school seniors, question their campus safety in the years to come. But because of the circumstances and the quick reaction to the scene, students still feel safe at OSU.
“The shooting honestly didn’t really make me question the safety of the campus or [my decision to] go there at all,” said Mia Anderson, WHS senior who was accepted OSU as a freshman for the fall of 17. “I knew something like this can happen anywhere no matter what school.”
Kostyak said, “Any campus with 60,000 students will always be an easy target, but everyone took that day really seriously and came together to support those that were injured. I think if anything OSU will be safer coming from all of this.”