Ever since the April 16 shooting at Virginia Tech, campus life across the nation has changed. A look at what's happened and where colleges are going from here:
1. Text messaging notification systems are rolling out. A noninclusive list of schools that have jumped on the bandwagon: University of Kansas, University of Maryland, Rutgers, Drexel University, and Princeton University. Other schools, like Northwestern University are considering its implementation, while Massachusetts state legislators have proposed spending $250,000 for an emergency text messaging service in all its public colleges. Most of the programs ask students to sign up for the alerts, which will include information on imminent crises and school closings.
2. Colleges have cracked down on questionable behavior by students, and in one case, a professor. Jackson Community College in Jackson County, Mich., expelled one student for allegedly saying the Virginia Tech shooter "had it right." An Illinois State University doctoral student was expelled after asking his teacher about his right to buy a gun. A University of Cincinnati student was arrested after allegedly saying, "If you think Virginia Tech was something, wait till I come up there." A financial accounting adjunct professor at Emmanuel College who dramatized the massacre in class to spark discussion of the event was fired, and in defense of his actions, took his case to YouTube.
3. In the first few weeks after the tragedy, antsy officials shut down Delta State University in Mississippi, Yakima Valley Community College in Washington, San Francisco City College, Portland Community College, and Pulaski Technical College in Arkansas, among others, after receiving various types of threats. Delaware County Community College in Pennsylvania was closed for six days, purses and backpacks were banned, and metal detectors were installed.
At Yale, prop guns in theatrical productions were banned, but the restriction was lifted less than a week later. Now audiences will be warned if fake weapons will be used in stage productions.
4. Universities are testing their emergency response units and are working even more closely with local police. At Bowling Green State University, the Wood County Sheriff's Office held "active shooter" training on campus, while other schools took a look within to evaluate their own plans.
5. Mental health officials are re-examining their counseling services, hoping to catch disturbed and potentially violent students before they cause harm. Florida State University has tweaked its counseling services, and the editorial page at the State Hornet at Sacramento State appeals for more regularly employed counselors. --Alison Go