UNC releases findings from campus survey nearly 4 months after deadly shooting

Cindy Bae Image
Monday, December 4, 2023
UNC releases survey findings nearly 4 months after deadly shooting
Students, faculty, staff, parents and families were invited to provide feedback on campus safety following the August 28 deadly shooting.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill released a summary of the responses to a campus feedback portal created after the August shooting that resulted in the death of a professor.

UNC graduate student, Tailei Qi, is facing charges in the murder of academic advisor Zijie Yan.

Students, faculty, staff, parents and families were invited to provide feedback. Half of the 3,362 respondents reported being on campus during the incident, and the other half were either off campus and not local (35%) or off campus and local in Chapel Hill or Carrboro (15%).

Many of the answers focused on three themes: Alert Carolina updates, preparedness and training, and safety infrastructure, according to the university.

Opinions were split on the effectiveness of the Alert Carolina updates during the incident, with 50.4% of respondents calling them useful and 49.5% finding them to be not at all or slightly useful.

Emily Hendrix, a UNC student tells ABC11 she was in the basement of a building at the time of the shooting.

"It was like I was relying on like all these outside sources and I wasn't hearing anything from the actual school," Hendrix said.

When asked about "Alert Carolina" effectiveness during the incident, "It was helpful in the sense like of how it was telling us what was going on. It just wasn't very consistent with the update," Hendrix said.

Sebastien Conde, also a UNC student, said faculty and staff could have been better prepared during the incident.

"Staff didn't really know what to do," Conde said. "There were debates about whether you should lock the doors, put things in front of them. Then there were debates on when you should open the doors for police, especially because it wasn't clear who was (an officer) and who was the shooter."

When it came to preparedness and training, most answered with requiring emergency protocol training and drills, especially for faculty and staff.

On the last theme of safety infrastructure, a popular response was ensuring all doors can be locked and/or windows be covered.

"It's crucial that we get the viewpoint of the folks who are affected by it, the folks who we're trying to reach with our emergency messaging, the folks who were in lockdown," said George Battle, vice chancellor for institutional integrity and risk management. "It's just key to have that perspective."

A summary of the results can be found here.