Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Orientation students caught in lockdown

As an armed intruder roamed the campus, a group of incoming FAU students, visiting for orientation, sat locked in rooms throughout the school.

Separated from family members, their parents worriedly text them to make sure they are alright.

Beginning their experience at FAU, the incoming students came here on Nov. 29 expecting a long day of learning about the university. They were set to learn how to apply for Financial Aid when the unexpected happened.

As the groups were split up from their parents, they heard information that FAU was under lockdown.

“They just told us that we were in lockdown. We didn’t really know much at the time and we weren’t scared or anything,” said Gonzalo Amsler, a non-FAU student attending with his sister.

Although Amsler did not fear his life, he was worried about his sister.

“I was kind of scared because she wasn’t with us,” he said.

The students sat in lockdown for three hours, watching a video. The orientation leaders declined to respond as to how they handled the situation. But incoming students had something to say.

“I was terrified,” said Brandon Dickerson, an incoming sophomore from Valencia State in Orlando, Fla.

“It was the most terrifying experience in my life,” Dickerson said. “No, I’m just kidding. I had no reason to be [scared]. Nobody got hurt.”

Amsler was told that orientation was postponed until after the lockdown and wasn’t resumed until Friday. After lockdown was lifted, students just went home. The next day, orientation was extended to include activities students missed out on the day before.

“I didn’t really get to do everything I wanted to do. I wanted to talk to the housing residents,” Dickerson said. “I actually did that later on throughout the day … A lot of the time we were just hearing everything over and over again.”

Despite the hassle added onto the students’ agendas, this did not make many students second guess their choice of attending the school.

“I feel like it’s a really good school,” Dickerson said. “It’s pretty safe.”

Heather Bishara, the interim director for New Student and Owl Family Programs, was unavailable to comment on the changes to orientation due to her meetings all throughout the afternoon.

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