Richard Jarman, COD Faculty Association Vice President. Around 10 AM Thursday, October 1st, a heavily armed person barged into a classroom at Umpqua Community College, Roseburg Oregon and slaughtered an innocent group of students and instructors.
Friday October 2nd, College of DuPage threw open the doors of the Homeland Security Training Center (Homeland II) and showed off its piece de resistance: the shooting range where people learn how to shoot other people. Dwell on that irony for one moment. By the way, that shooting range is just across Lake Reda from the Early Childhood Center.
I spoke in June about the clandestine, almost nonexistent, process that brought us to Homeland II; I spoke about the absence of any connection between this venture and the college’s academic programs. I realize that my words will be of little consequence for this project; and, at this point the ship has sailed; and I will offend those that hold it dear. Re the latter, I would be remiss if I had not offended at least a few people all these months at this podium.
Fortunately, in the case of that misguided adventure in fine dining known as Waterleaf, criticized for both its running costs and lack of educational connection, it can be seamlessly transitioned into a space for students to work because there is a culinary program, and the students can use those same kitchens, pots and pans, crockery, cutlery, and so forth.
By contrast, what can be done with a highly-specialized space that has zero educational program to support it?
We heard last week an administrator minimizing the significance of the theatre program based on its “small” number of FTEs. Note, those “few” – 722 – are 722 more than will ever enter the shooting range for credit. We heard about the budget proposed to bring back BTE. The outlay on weaponry and bullets to date would underwrite a chunk of that.
I will be told that the community will benefit from the Concealed Carry classes that will be taught there, weapons purchased for the purpose. I struggle with the ethics of attempting to monetize Homeland II in this way. I am not thrilled by the prospect of community members being trained in the art of hiding lethal weapons.
We all know it is not a matter of if, but when or where, the next Umpqua will strike. God forbid that the perpetrator was found to have attended that class? What then?