AUDIO: Professors joke about Purdue shooting as it happens, continue to teach

Caleb Bonham and Sterling Beard
Editor-in-chief

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  • After her class became audibly distraught, Rebecca Trax continued to lecture, told class to focus
  • Another lecturer ignored student pleas to turn off lights and lock doors, allegedly called them "typical Americans"
  • In 2013 Purdue’s student senate voted down support for concealed carry on campus.
  • UPDATE: The original video from Anthony Casazza's YouTube channel has been removed. Campus Reform has reposted his video below.

    Several Purdue professors and lecturers joked around Tuesday, ignoring safety concerns and pleas from students even as news spread of a shooting on campus.

    “[He] told us we’re being typical Americans and hysterical for asking him to lock doors, and [continued] lecturing."   

    In a video posted to YouTube Tuesday evening, lecturer Rebecca Trax is reportedly heard joking about the shooting.

    Trax told an audience in one of Purdue University’s largest lecture halls, “Ya'know, I think you’re better off in here. We’ll close the doors, if anyone comes in who wants to grab him? Go after him.”

    As one student walked in late to the 300-plus student class, Trax joked, "We don’t have to tackle Rod, we know him. So, make sure you weren't our electrical engineering shooter that came over."

    “What’s that, another shooting, physics?” Trax said, “Ok you engineering students, what are they doing to you?”

    As the class became audibly distraught Trax began teaching again.

    “Ok, lets focus now, I know this is kind of disruptive,” she said.

    Anthony Casazza, a Business Management student who claims to have been in Trax’s class, addressed the shooting and the professor’s reaction to it in a Facebook update posted Tuesday afternoon.

    “MGMT200 Professor Trax keeps joking about it, refuses to lock the doors, and says ‘We have enough man power [sic] to tackle the shooter since we are in a 400 person lecture hall’ then continues to teach,” Casazza wrote.

    According to The Purdue Review, other professors also ignored the university-wide text messaging system which warned of a shooting in the Electrical Engineering building. Rather than turn off lights and lock doors, they continued to teach amidst pleas from students.

    “[He] told us we’re being typical Americans and hysterical for asking him to lock doors, and [continued] lecturing,” said student Bryce Shaffer of Alon Kantor, a Continuing Lecturer in Modern Hebrew.

    To make matters worse, the text messaging system was reportedly inconsistent. Though students were quickly alerted after the first shots were fired, they were told to “resume normal operations” less than thirty minutes later.

    Cody Cousins, a 23-year-old senior electrical engineering major, has been taken into custody in connection with the homicide and is being held without bond. The only fatality was Andrew Boldt, a fellow 21-year-old electrical engineering major. It was the university’s first on-campus shooting in nearly two decades.

    In the winter of 2013, Purdue’s student senate voted down a resolution which would have supported a bill in the Indiana legislature to allow concealed carry on college campuses.

    Purdue University did not respond for comment in time of publication. 

    Follow the authors of this article on Twitter @CalebBonham and @SterlingBeard

    Caleb Bonham and Sterling Beard

    Caleb Bonham

    Editor-in-chief

    Caleb Bonham is the Editor-in-chief of Campus Reform.

    Named a "30 Under 30," Caleb is a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel and host of the award nominated YouTube series, The Caleb Bonham Show. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Associated Press, MSNBC and TheBlaze.

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