University of Waterloo says 'get out, hide or fight,' if armed intruder on campus

The University of Waterloo is abandoning the traditional lock-down method and suggesting a new way to react if an active shooter enters campus.

The university says try to get out first, then hide, then fight as a last resort

If an armed intruder enters campus, many universities go into lockdown. Teachers and students lock themselves inside classrooms or offices.

But the University of Waterloo is suggesting something different in a new video. The video, in partnership with the University of Alberta, instructs people get out, hide, or fight if an active shooter enters campus.

Dave Gerencser, director of the University of Waterloo Police Service, told CBC News the approach is more realistic than the traditional lockdown procedure.

"There wasn't the emphasis on running and getting away, it was as soon as you knew something was happening, go to the nearest room and lock yourself down," he said, adding that this would probably be better advice for a single building. 

"That's not the case, obviously, at many university and college campuses and certainly not the case for the University of Waterloo, in terms of the environment that were dealing with," Gerencser said.

"It's intuitive, from my perspective, to want to run away from the threat," he said. "That's a decision the individual has to make, but depending upon the circumstances, that's our advice."

The new advice being prompted at the University of Waterloo was created by a coalition of universities and authorities in Alberta.

"It has been benchmarked across, not only the country, but the continent with respect to various areas where they've had active shooters and what the experts are saying is the best way to approach it," Gerencser said.


  • An earlier subhead on this story said the university said that getting out or fighting were better options than locking yourself in a room. In fact, the video recommends running as a first option, hiding as a second option in an active shooter scenario, and fighting back as a last resort.
    Jun 22, 2016 3:38 PM ET