The horrible shooting that occurred on UCLA’s campus on Wednesday was met with sympathy and support from most professors, who postponed final exams in light of the situation. One professor, however, did not appear to get the memo.
Professor Vivian Lew sent an email during the shooting to her students, telling them to find a computer to take their final exam for her statistics class.
CBS News reports that according to a statement put out by the statistics department chair, Mark Hancock, Lew was apparently unaware of the details of the circumstances and “incorrectly assumed that students just needed to avoid the area of Engineering Building 4 because of police activity.”
Hancock defended her actions, noting that it “was not the intent of [Lew], who was horrified that this had accidentally occurred” and called her an “extremely dedicated” professor to her students.
Lew reportedly later apologized profusely to her students.
However, other reports note that in Lew’s initial email to her students, she was aware the school was on lockdown, because she herself was locked in her office: “I am locked in my office now and cannot leave… my building is under lockdown. ..So leave this area if you are in [it] and find a computer,” she wrote to students.
This appears irresponsible, as a building lockdown clearly suggests dangerous circumstances, even if Lew was uninformed of the shooting.
Lew contradicted her email in a statement to Campus Reform, claiming that, “When I wrote the first e-mail, I was not operating with good information. I wasn’t aware at the time that some buildings had been locked down, my information was there was ‘police activity’,” she said.
Lew may not have realized how serious the situation was, but it was undoubtedly insensitive to put pressure on her students when she knew there buildings were on lockdown and police were on campus.
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