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Did Seton Hall do enough to inform the staff and students?

Foo Master Angie 2008/02/15 17:05:36
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SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - Seton Hall University students were back at class Tuesday, a day after the campus was locked down because a student's ex-boyfriend shot himself in the stomach.

Kevin Papalia, 22, of Marlboro, staggered into the lobby of a university dormitory with a gunshot wound to the stomach Monday night, said Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow.

Papalia, who was reportedly distraught over the breakup with a girlfriend, remained in fair condition Tuesday at University Hospital in Newark, said hospital spokesman Rogers Ramsey.

Administrators contacted students Monday night via e-mail and cell phone text message, warning them to stay in their rooms. The warning came about a half hour after the shooting, which occurred about 8:30 p.m.

"As soon as we had accurate information regarding the nature of the incident we sent out text messages and e-mails and updated the university Web site," said university spokeswoman Jill Matthews.

South Orange police were already on their way to the university because one of Papalia's friends had called 911, warning that the young man was upset and on his way to campus, Dow said.

Papalia may have been distraught over a breakup with a female student who lived at the dorm, Dow said.

Papalia's aunt, Melinda Kay, of Marlboro, told The Star-Ledger of Newark that her nephew had recently fought with the ex-girlfriend.

"He just really wanted to see her. He's been depressed. He may have thought about hurting himself, but he never would have hurt her or anyone else," Kay said.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Papalia shot himself while parked in his car near the dorm, or while driving there.

Police found a handgun in the trunk of Papalia's car, Dow said.

Later searches turned up a rifle at Kay's house, where Papalia had been staying, and an assault rifle at the Edison home of the same friend who alerted authorities, said Essex County prosecutor's office spokesman Paul Loriquet.

Dow's office announced Tuesday afternoon that it was charging Papalia with weapons offenses, resisting arrest and harassment. Papalia was being held on $300,000 bail and was expected to be transferred to a state psychiatric facility after release from the hospital, Loriquet said.

Seton Hall, a Roman Catholic school located about 12 miles west of New York City, has about 10,000 students.

About 5,500 students, staff and parents of students have signed up to receive text message alerts on their cell phones, said university spokesman Thomas White.

The text messaging system was originally installed in spring 2006 for more mundane announcements, such as snow days, but began to be used for campus emergencies after the April 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech in which 33 people died.
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Top Opinion

  • marsred 2008/02/15 18:23:15
    Yes
    marsred
    +5
    Probably, at least it would appear so.

    Hey, Foo, I would have preferred additional voting options.☼

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  • Sam 2008/02/17 17:04:57
    Yes
    Sam
    +1
    I think they do the best they can, Especially in today enviornment.
  • *~JENNBEAVER~* 2008/02/15 19:30:04
    Yes
    *~JENNBEAVER~*
    +1
    If it only took them 30 minutes after the incident happened, I think they did the best they could with what little info they had. It still may have not been enough time if this kid was planning on hurting other people, you know as well as I do, it only takes a matter of seconds to end a life. It's really kind of hard to give out mass notification such as this, in a short amount of time, so I think they did a fair job at it.
  • marsred 2008/02/15 18:23:15
    Yes
    marsred
    +5
    Probably, at least it would appear so.

    Hey, Foo, I would have preferred additional voting options.☼
  • Foo Mas... marsred 2008/02/15 18:56:33
    Foo Master Angie
    +3
    Sorry, my brain isn't on straight today. I heard this on the radio yesterday or the day before, and they were only allowing people to answer yes or no, so I figured I'd follow suit.
  • marsred Foo Mas... 2008/02/15 19:00:17
    marsred
    +2
    No problem. I understand. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a good poll.

    Still, considering how few details have surfaced here in the Garden State it's difficult to know if SHU did:

    1) everything they could/should have done
    2) whatever they did FAST enough to make a difference.

    later, my friend☼
  • Foo Mas... marsred 2008/02/15 19:15:13
    Foo Master Angie
    +3
    That's the other thing...apparently this happened Monday, and I didn't even hear about it until Wednesday...
  • marsred Foo Mas... 2008/02/15 23:08:32
    marsred
    +1
    Right. Timing wasn't there in all respects. Still, your idea was sound. As I said, good poll.

    Anyway, here's what I've been thinking about:

    Our media is focused on the bigger University tragedy with the largest body count. That this young man was a significant danger to himself and others seems to pale in their minds simply because he spilled his own blood. I "see" a message, a warning, which I fear our media is ignoring. ☼
  • Foo Mas... marsred 2008/02/17 16:29:11
    Foo Master Angie
    +1
    No kidding!
  • marsred Foo Mas... 2008/02/18 00:08:12
    marsred
    +1
    Yes foo, no kidding. What do you think about the difference in coverage? about the shootings in general? ☼
  • Foo Mas... marsred 2008/02/18 00:14:26
    Foo Master Angie
    +1
    Well, death is always more "newsworthy."
  • marsred Foo Mas... 2008/02/18 00:30:59
    marsred
    +1
    Short, sweet, and to the point. ☼
  • Angel 2008/02/15 18:17:49
    Yes
    Angel
    +1
    it does take time to get the word out to a large group, without causing caos
  • DrTim 2008/02/15 17:56:38 (edited)
    Yes
    DrTim
    +1
    I think they did,but until they can "Forcast" these things before they happen there will always be a certain group that says "They could have done more or faster"!
  • Gramma Lil 2008/02/15 17:33:54
    Yes
    Gramma Lil
    +2
    I think they did the best they could with what they had. Sometimes even the best is not good enough when a person has gone completely over the edge.

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