Social media keeps CSUN students informed about suspected gunman in Oviatt Library

Joelle Katz

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Social media played a key role in keeping the CSUN campus informed Tuesday as officials searched for a suspected gunman.

English major Eduard Cabanban was in the Oviatt Library when the police were first contacted and the building was evacuated.

Cabanban said he was writing an essay on the third floor when he heard a fire alarm and joined other students who headed outside.

“There were police at the exits watching us leave,” Cabanban said. “People were confused and just grabbed their stuff and left. I was just real concerned about what was going on.”

At first Cabanban thought there was a fire since the fire alarm sounded and the voice over the intercom did not specify the situation, he said.

Soon after the evacuation, university officials sent automated calls to students and Cabanban went on Facebook to check the CSUN group for more updates, he said.

Many students shared their fear and curiosity through Facebook and Twitter as events unfolded during the day. Media officials and the campus community made CSUN a hot topic.

Lorena Carrillo, an English literature major, also went on Facebook after hearing about the threat.

She said she was not on campus when it first happened but figured her friends who go to CSUN would have more information about the unfolding story.

Though Carrillo received the automated warnings, she said she didn’t take it seriously.

“When I got here and saw patrol cars and the bomb squad, then I got scared,” she said.  “I saw the yellow tape and that made it scarier.”

Sociology major Nayma Guerrero said she also updated herself using her Facebook news feeds.

Since Guerrero lives on campus, an hour away from her family in Inglewood, she said her mother and father were worried.

“I was nervous,” she said.  “My mom told me she saw it on the news and I was scared since I couldn’t go home.”

Guerrero said a friend’s post about the warning added to her nerves.