Story and Photo By Omar Reyes/Staff Writer/@salar0895
Tuesday, March 22, may have been another day at LBCC, but more than 5,000 miles away, a series of bombings ravaged the city of Brussels, Belgium, with two bombs exploding at an airport and the third at a metro station.
As of Monday March 28, 35 people had died in the attacks, including four Americans and three suicide bombers, according to NBC News.
“I’m saddened by the attacks,” said Joon Velasco, 22, a deaf-studies major. “I don’t believe innocent people deserve that type of violence. I can’t seem to understand how people can hurt other people.”
Four missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were injured in the attacks, according to Fox 13 news. Michael King, director of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints at 4579 E. Carson St, next to the LAC, said he was aware of the injuries.
King said LBCC students, including students who are Mormons, use the institute for studies and activities. King considers the church a “safe atmosphere” for students and regarding the bombings, said, “Any act of violence against God’s children is a tragedy.”
In addition, an emergency response training meeting occurred at the PCC on Thursday, March 24, with emergency tips given by communications director John Pope and manager of safety and parking services Brendan Hayes. About 20 employees attended the meeting, which also included an interactive exercise.
Although Hayes said the specific emergency response meeting was planned for several months and was not conducted in direct response to the Brussels bombings, he said the information given was “applicable” to terrorist incidents.
In an interview, Criminal justice teacher Mike Biggs said, “It’s a tragic incident because it shows that global terror is operating pretty much wherever they want in the way they want. The loss of life and injuries are horrific and my heart goes out to all those affected by it.”
On what students can do to report and prevent attacks at LBCC, Biggs said, “Take a moment to reflect on what’s happened and use that as a motivation to be more aware. Stop walking around looking at your phone and look at what’s going on around you and see what’s out there. That might be just what we need to prevent something like this from happening.”
LBCC students talked about the attacks Thursday and voiced concerns about possibly taking study abroad classes in the future.
Exgard Parra said, “I have heard about the attacks, but I would never skip the chance to study overseas because of it. That’s what they want, they want us to live in fear, and we can’t give that to them.”
People may visit lbcc.edu/CollegeSafety for safety tips and evacuation maps for each campus and sign up for text alerts from emergency-responding agencies.
Aubrey Grothe, Rhyaun Hamilton-Howell and Irvin Lorenzo contributed to this story.