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The Merciad, March 5, 2008

The Merciad, March 5, 2008

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The Merciad, March 5, 2008
The Merciad, March 5, 2008

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Published by: TheMerciad on May 29, 2011
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On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho gunned down 32students in what is called the worst college shooting inhistory. On Feb. 14, 2008, Steven Kazmierczak shot 22students at Northern Illinois University, killing 5 beforetaking his own life. The question is: Could such anincident happen at Mercyhurst? Administrators say anything’s possible. But, is the small liberal arts collegeon the hill prepared for such a tragedy? The Merciad willexplore, in a 3-part series, the security and safety of Mercyhurst College, including interviews withadministrators and Erie police.
Rescue workers carry a wounded student to a DeKalb Fire Department  vehicle after the Feb. 14 shootings at Northern Illinois University.
Northern Star photo
In the wake of the Northern Illinois University tragedy and the upcoming anniversary of the Virginia Tech tragedy, the question on everyone’s mind is...
3-part series / This week: ResLife
Joshua Wilwohl reports on page 2
Sophomore Meghan Agosta finalist for Kazmaier Award
PAGE 2March 5, 2008
ResLife: College prepared for emergencies
Mercyhurst College studentshave no need to worry aboutcampus safety say Gerry Tobinand Laura Zirkle, the college’s vice president and assistant vicepresident for student life. The two residence life chiefssaid Mercyhurst has an emer-gency plan ready for any disasterthat could occur on campus, suchas that which struck Northern Il-linois University on Feb. 14 whenformer graduate student StevenKazmierczak shot 21 people,killing five, and then fatally shothimself.“We certainly have an emer-gency response protocol that weupdate,” said Tobin.Part of the college’s updateto the plan includes sending campus-wide text message alerts. That program was launched inlate August. Tobin said the college con-tinues to evaluate other updatesbased on certain circumstances.He said the college, like North-ern Illinois University, has thecapacity to quickly change theschool Web site to keep the pub-lic informed of any crisis.“We have the capacity to im-mediately get something on the Web,” he said. Tobin also said most of thecollege’s residence halls andapartments are always locked toensure the safety of students.But some buildings, such asthe Audrey Hirt Academic Cen-ter and the freshman residencehalls, are open, he acknowledged,but can be locked remotely fromthe college’s police and safety office.“The big effort is: How do youalert people and can you keep ar-eas secured,” Tobin said. “Unlikea federal government building  where you can lock down, …acampus is a small community and we don’t have the capacity to guard every entrance.”Zirkle said the residence lifestaff is highly trained and pre-pared for any situation thatoccurs.“The staff goes through ex-tensive training on what to look for,” she said. Tobin said Mercyhurst has aunique community that helpsprevent problems before they arise.“The best way is to create acommunity where there are few people that are unknown and as we break down anonymity…theperson who is struggling with is-sues is not out of concern fromgetting help,” he said.Zirkle said the college con-ducts tabletop exercises of theemergency plan with the help of the Mercyhurst College’s NorthEast Institute of Public Safety.“There is a walkthrough of areal scenario such as a student with a gun,” she said. “It helps tostep through a timeline of peopleinvolved and how such incidentstake place.”She said before the Virginia Tech tragedy on April 16, 2007, when student Seung-Hui Chokilled 32 people and wounded25 before shooting himself, Mer-cyhurst had not even consideredsuch an incident.Zirkle said the college does notneed a plan that is as extensive aslarger universities such as Penn-sylvania State University.“What Penn State needs and what we need really is different,she said.Mercyhurst’s central core val-ue of hospitality and “Mercy  World,” where those within thecommunity have a sense of safe-ty, according to Tobin, is whathelps the college feel secure.“(These ideas) provide us witha great sense of security withoutbeing naïve,” he said. Tobin emphasized the college will not become a watchful eye.“We’re not interested in be-coming ‘Big Brother,’” he said.“And we’re not putting up gatesaround the college or check-points at certain places.”
Next week’s preview: Policeand safety / Erie police
Tobin said Mercyhurst College Police and Safety officers are not armed with guns, but he said the college plans to look into the possibility of arming officers. Mercyhurst is the only college in the Erie area whose officers are not armed.“Given the climate of the culture, I think it’s a good question to ask and I think it’s a timely opportunity todiscuss,” he said.
In two weeks: Profilinga killer
Rescue workers move a wounded student to an ambulance after the Feb. 14 shootings at Northern Illinois University.
Northern Star photo
Three-part series explores safety concerns at Mercyhurst College
By Joshua Wilwohl
March 5, 2008
laker briefs
Nominate your Choice for Senior Awards
 The Senior Awards Nominating Process has gone green. Nomore paper nomination forms. Nominate your choices for theSenior Awards today by visiting seniorawards.mercyhurst.edu.
Colloquism: Janisee Ray
 Writer, naturalist and activist Janisse Ray will be the keynotespeaker when Mercyhurst College hosts its second Colloquiumon the Americas March 7 to 8.
 Judge Dunlavey speaks
Erie County Judge Michael Dunlavey will speak about inter-national and Middle Eastern relations on Thursday, March 6, at7:30 p.m. in Mercyhurst North East’s Alex Theater.
Romero Award and Lecture
Kathleen Erickson, advocate for just immigration policy, willreceive this year’s Archbishop Oscar Romero Award from Mer-cyhurst. She’ll accept the award and deliver a lecture on “TheSpiritual Challenge of Immigration” on March 18 at 8:15 p.m.in Mercy Heritage Room. Free and open to the public.
Coach Carter
Ken Carter, the inspiration behind the 2005 film, “CoachCarter,” will bring his message of accountability, integrity, team- work and leadership to Mercyhurst on Monday, March 10, at 8:15p.m. in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. His speechis free and open to the public.
Cellist, Pianist Stage Recital
Cellist Jolyon Pegis, a member of the Dallas and ChautauquaSymphony Orchestras, will be joined by pianist Joel Schoenhalsfor a recital on Wednesday, March 5, at 8 p.m. in the WalkerRecital Hall.
President’s Forum
Monday, March 10, Mercyhurst College President Dr. ThomasGamble will speak to the entire college community - Trustees,Sisters of Mercy, administrators, staff, faculty and students. Theforum will also be streamed to Mercyhurst North East andMercyhurst West campuses at 4 p.m.
‘War Reflections’
 The Mercyhurst Concert Choir, directed by Rebecca Ryan, willpresent a concert titled “War Reflections” on Sunday, March 9,at 2 p.m. in Mercyhurst’s Walker Recital Hall.
Maureen Yuen Recital
Maureen Yuen, instructor of violin and viola at MercyhurstCollege, will give a recital on Wednesday, March 19, at 8 p.m., inMercyhurst’s Walker Recital Hall.
Career Services guidesgraduating seniors
Graduation is less than fourmonths away.For seniors, this might beexciting, stressful, or worrisomedepending on whether they have secured a plan to take aftergraduating. The Career Services office,located in 204 Old Main, canhelp direct students into theprofessional world.Director of Career Services,Robert Hvezda, said opening acredential file should be a senior’sfirst priority at this time. The credential file is a file of recommendations from a variety of sources.“We would encourage seniors,even prior to opening up the file,to start to think about who they  would use as a recommender,”said Hvezda.“We would recommend thatseniors obtain three to five rec-ommendations, and they couldinclude a letter or two fromfaulty, supervisor from an intern-ship, their work-study supervisor,or a reference from a manager ata summer job.” The credential file is an ongo-ing resource for students. As alumni, graduates can peri-odically update their file by faxing or e-mailing references. Whenever a reference isneeded, students need only tocontact Career Services. The resumé is another item onthe senior check list.“It’s important that seniorsmake or update their resuméif they haven’t already,said Hvezda.“It’s important that they havea resumé whether they are going for employment, graduate school,law school, or a service corp.”Some students that go toCareer Services may be surprisedif their resumé is presented tothem in two pages. Although it may not be theformat that has been used in thepast, Hvezda emphasized thatCareer Services would not leadstudents astray.“I want to assure all of ourstudents that if they go onto asecond page, our staff will dothis because we find that ourstudents are doing more and wedo not want to sacrifice lengthfor substance,” said Hvezda.“Where a problem could ariseis if someone starts to put fluff into the resumé to make it look longer,” Hvezda warned.“If there are two pages of realinformation in the resume, it is tothe students benefit. I discussedthis with recruiters from someof the best companies in the world. They all said two pageresumés of relevant informationare acceptable.“The old school thinking of one page resumés is becoming just that, old school.“Marketing a college studentbegins with a resumé. So themore power on paper, the morecompetitive a student becomes,the resumé is an appetizer to theinterview,” he added.Students can also visit CareerServices for advice on interview-ing techniques or materials onproper interview dress.Hvezda said a suit is notoptional anymore, it’s expected. The traditional blues, blacks,charcoal grey, white shirt or white blouse is appropriate.If students need advice onlocating jobs to apply to, they canuse a variety of resources.“The Career Services Web sitehas job resources for students,”said Hvezda.“Students should also havea geographical area in mind of  where they would like to work. The chamber of commercein the area where the student would like to work may have jobsadvertised. There are also jobfairs coming up, which studentscan find out about on the CareerServices Web site.”Networking is another optionfor students if they do not findjobs on a Web site.“The three most popular words in the job search today are networking, networking,networking,” said Hvezda.“Those that are already in theprofession seem to enjoy broth-ering or sistering those that arecoming up in the profession.Don’t be afraid to e-mail themyour resumé, because they may think of you when they hearabout an opening.”Hvezda emphasized that nomatter what path students havechosen after graduation studentsshould answer any e-mails orphone calls from Career Servicesregarding their employmentstatus. The information retrievedis used to publish an annual100-page study from the CareerServices Office. As students or alumni of Mer-cyhurst, services provided by theCareer Services Office are free.Students should plan aheadand make appointmentspromptly.
By Jen Helbig
Staff writer
 Resumé building, job hunting, networking

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