A shooting took place just off campus near the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Westford Avenue around 1:30 p.m. last Sunday. At 1:59 p.m., Springfield College students received an alert via phone call, text message, and email. One man has been arrested in connection with the incident.
A shooting taking place around Springfield College is not an exceptionally rare occurrence. Although the college is nestled in a what some may consider a dodgy neighborhood, students do not feel overly worried for their wellbeing.
“Personally, I have never felt scared or worried [while on campus],” said junior Elias Kokalis. “Obviously you have to be aware of your surroundings. I know stuff like that (the shooting) does happen, but nothing has ever happened on campus. Even though Springfield has a reputation for being dangerous, I feel like it’s no different than a dangerous place in Connecticut or New York.”
Junior Jake Garrity was in the kitchen of his suite in the Living Center when he got the alert.
“My initial reaction was that I didn’t know what street that was,” said Garrity. “I just hoped that whoever was in the area was alright, but I wasn’t worried for my own safety.”
Public safety alerted everyone on campus to the threat in just under thirty minutes. On the following day at 3:00 p.m., the department sent out another email with updates on the situation and that if anyone had any questions they should not hesitate to reach out.
Junior Kelly Gambell was off campus shopping at Walmart when she received the alert. As a woman, walking alone at night can be daunting, especially in a rough neighborhood; but Gambell never feels that type of pressure while on campus.
“(I am) not necessarily worried, but just in general when I’m alone at night I’m always aware of my surroundings. I don’t ever feel like I am ever in any type of danger.”
Although students and staff are well insulated by the Public Safety Department on campus, things going on in the surrounding area can still be worrying.
“Sometimes late at night I’ll hear fireworks or gunshots, not really sure which is which,” said Garrity. “So that can be concerning sometimes.”