The national debate is raging about how to prevent gun violence in the wake of the community college shooting that left nine people dead in Oregon.

But in an email sent to students warning of Monday "threat of violence" against a Philadelphia-area university, Stockton University put the emphasis on a more immediate concern — how to survive an attack once it's started.

"On behalf of the innocent lives lost, I ask that you please take the time to view the two videos to assist yourself and our community in obtaining beneficial knowledge on recommended practices in responding to an active shooter or mass violence incident," wrote Cynthia Parker, Stockton's interim chief of police.

One video is produced by the City of Houston and the other is by the Rock Valley College Police Department in Illinois. Both productions offer similar advice for those who find themselves in active shooter situations:

Rowan University, Rutgers-Camden, Rider University, Stockton University, Mercer County College and The College of New Jersey all warned students this weekend about a threat of violence for Monday, though none canceled classes. Warnings first went out to Philadelphia-area schools.

The college also offered the following advice:


When an active shooter is in your vicinity:

  • If there is an escape path, attempt to evacuate
  • Evacuate whether others agree to or not
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Help others escape if possible
  • Prevent others from entering the area
  • Call 9-1-1 when you are safe


If an evacuation is not possible:

  • If you can't get out safely, you need to find a place to hide
  • Turn out lights, and if possible, remember to lock doors
  • Lock and/or blockade the door
  • Silence your cell phone
  • Hide behind large objects
  • Remain very quiet
  • Your hiding place should:If you can't find a safe room or closet, try to conceal yourself behind large objects that may protect you
    • Be out of the shooter’s view
    • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction
  • Do not trap or restrict your options for movement


As a last resort, and only if your life is in danger:

  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
  • Act with physical aggression
  • Improvise weapons
  • Commit to your actions

As a last resort, if your life is at risk, whether you're alone or working together as a group, fight! Act with aggression. Improvise weapons. Disarm the shooter and commit to taking the shooter down, no matter what.