Open Letter From Fayetteville State Faculty Member
The bomb threat against Fayetteville State University on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 disrupted the lives of students, staff, and faculty. Contrary to what a high level administrator said to a news source, communication of this serious threat to the campus community was not acted on quickly to ensure the health and safety of our university community. In addition, prioritizing safety for students, staff and faculty simply did not happen. This is something that will need to be addressed by ALL administrators at FSU.
What also has not been addressed is the impact this threat has had on military affiliated students, staff, and faculty at FSU. FSU is offering free tuition through scholarships to military-connected students and claims to be military friendly. There is even an FSU web page stating "heroes welcome" and that FSU "understands their needs". Does FSU understand how the events on Wednesday have impacted veterans and active duty personnel? A traumatic event like Wednesday's bomb threat can trigger veterans and active duty personnel into a mode that is second nature to them - heightened level of alert and acting to accomplish the mission without thinking about their own safety. I have served in the military and am very familiar with this mode of action. When my supervisor told me to "clear the floor and get everyone out of the building", I immediately went into that mode. I know I pounded on some of my colleagues' office doors and told them to leave the building immediately and checked every room and office on our floor to make sure everyone was accounted for. I do not recall everything I did because I was in that "alert mode". When I got home, I was mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted - I sat down and could not move while my mind was racing thinking about everything that had happened that afternoon. I had not experienced that since my time in the military. I was fortunate that I have veteran friends that I was able to talk to about my experience Wednesday - not all veterans have that.
What is FSU doing to address the needs of military veterans and active duty personnel after this serious threat to their safety? From what I have seen - NOTHING. If FSU wants to really be considered a "military friendly" university, they MUST make counseling services available for veterans and active duty personnel.
It has been 48 hours since the events of Wednesday and FSU has yet to send us anything from the top level administrators - we received the "all clear" email and that is all. As previously mentioned, a high level administrator made some comments to a news source but has not said anything to the students, staff, and faculty at FSU - why? Acknowledgement from a high level administrator that what we all experienced Wednesday was a serious threat to our safety can begin the healing process for everyone that experienced this traumatic event.