Jan 04, 2024

Charles University Prepares Security Measures After Mass Shooting

Prague’s Charles University is preparing a list of possible security measures for its buildings following a mass shooting at the Faculty of Arts last month that left 14 dead.

Deans of individual faculties will receive a list of measures tailored to their faculties, the rector of the university, Milena Králíčková, said on Tuesday evening.

The crisis meeting also dealt with the coordination of activities taking place as part of the ‘Month for the Faculty’ event. These activities should return academic life to the building of the Faculty of Arts on Jan Palach Square in the centre of Prague, where 14 people were shot dead by a student before Christmas.

Kralickova said the meeting also dealt with plans for the summer semester at the Faculty of Arts.

“Classes will be held in alternative premises of other faculties or other institutions that have also offered the possibility of teaching, as well as online. We have already tested that we can also take exams or give credits, all online, so those options will be there as well,” she said.

The guarantors of each degree program will inform students about how their courses will be carried out, she added. The summer semester is expected to begin as usual.

Staff also discussed the possibilities of security measures that deans could introduce at individual faculties. One possible suggested measure is card access. Some buildings that were completed in the past year already have this measure, Kralickova said.

One of the main topics, according to Otomar Slama, head of the university’s crisis staff, was the design of the commemorative procession called the Transmission of Light.

Students would carry the light from the rector’s office to the faculty building on Jan Palach Square, a building they want to embrace symbolically, according to Kralickova.

The collection of candles covering both memorial sites is yet to be organised. “We want to do it very sensitively and we expect it to take place somehow on 4 January,” Kralickova said.

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