KSU Stark hosts ALICE Training

Alyssa Ronyak

Kent State Stark campus is taking action to continue to help its students, faculty, staff and the community to stay informed about how to protect yourself.

Kent State Stark has used the ALICE method since fall 2012. There has always been some type of plan in place for when there’s a shooter in the building or around the area, whether it be in K-12 or college. Back in 1980’s, drive-by shootings were more popular than they are today, so hiding under a desk away from the windows was a good way to protect yourself from outside shooters. Today that isn’t the case; more shootings have occurred inside the building, so the protective plan had to be modified.

ALICE is a new way for people in danger to be proactive, and ultimately to survive. “A better response is to be mobile and ready to be active,” says Emily Ribnik, clinical mental health counselor and ALICE instructor.

Ribnik has been with Kent State Stark since April 2011 when she came to run the counseling services. Previous to that, she also worked at the main campus in residence services from 1999-2006, and then worked for 5 years in emergency psychiatric services. Ribnik became a certified ALICE trainer in 2012 and one of her main goals is to make sure that the material is accessible. She adds, “I want students to pay attention and walk away with the information. I don’t want them to be scared of the facts and not engage with it.”

ALICE training is about realizing that there isn’t “one way” to respond to a situation. It is important to assess what the options are and then make a quick decision. ALICE is a newer plan and there are a lot of benefits to attending a training session. Students learn skills that they can take anywhere with them, including: trust instincts, making decisions under pressure, and training safety and response to danger.

ALICE is now a part of multiple institutions comprising places of worship, K-12 districts and more businesses. Although ALICE isn’t particularly new, it is becoming more popular because of its success in research studies. One thing that has predominantly changed, is that students are more and more becoming involved with these classes. They want that experience under their belt in case of a shooter situation.

Kent State Stark focuses on its students and their safety. There are multiple training sessions for students throughout the year because students have demanding schedules, so making these classes as accessible as possible is the main goal. The training sessions stay small so that every student who attends has an equal opportunity to learn and make strong connections with in instructor.

“ALICE training is part lecture, part discussion, and also includes demonstration and participation from those attending,” says Ribnik. There is also some general background about active shooters, normal responses and then go more in depth about what ALICE means.

The instructors put emphasis on the fact that there is no right or wrong answers in these situations. “This is information that students can take to their homes, neighborhoods and workplace. It is meant to get them thinking about how to respond to situations differently and that can open up a new perspective to a lot of things,” said Ribnik.  

The next ALICE training session is on Wednesday 16, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. in 212 Fine Arts. Registration is required.

Alyssa Ronyak is a regionals reporter for the Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].