Heidi Czerwiec, an associate professor of English at the University of North Dakota, looked out her window recently and was frightened at seeing "two figures in camo with guns." She immediately hid under her desk and dialed 911. As it turned out, it was two ROTC cadets on their way to drill practice on campus.
Does that fact make the professor feel any better? Absolutely not! She was so rattled by this experience that she has promised to call 911 every time the school's ROTC meets to do its "highly inappropriate" rifle drills.
Czerwiec wrote a letter to the Grand Forks Herald to explain why it is "irresponsible" to do these types of military maneuvers on a college campus, especially when so many students are "stressed" about school shootings:
Apparently, it's not enough that UND's administration is attacking the quality of education by cutting programs and experienced faculty and jacking class sizes. Now, we must also feel under physical attack as well.
I look up from my office computer to see two figures in camo with guns outside my window. My first thought is for my students' and my safety: I grab my phone, crawl under my desk and call 911. The dispatcher keeps me on the line until someone can see if ROTC is doing maneuvers.
I can barely talk—first, with fear, and then with rage when the dispatcher reports back that yes, in fact, I've probably just seen ROTC cadets, though they're going to send an officer to check because no one has cleared it with them. They thank me for reporting it.
Czerwiec said a university officer called her "not to reassure me, but to scold me for calling 911." He told her that the ROTC will be doing the drills for the next few weeks.
"So I reply that I guess I'll be calling 911 for the next couple weeks—and I will. Every time," she promised.
The letter continued:
It's not my job to decide whether people carrying guns at school are an actual threat. It's my job to teach and to get home to my family.
It's already highly inappropriate to conduct unnecessary military maneuvers in the middle of the quad. But with school shootings on the increase and tensions at UND running high, it's especially irresponsible.
We're already under financial and emotional attack. We don't need to feel under physical attack, too.
This overreaction has granted Mrs. Czerwiec a personal notification by the university when a drill is to take place and a promise to also send out a campus-wide notification.
As this story has surfaced, Czerwiec's professional writings for sale on Amazon have received some extra attention, although likely unwanted. Her book of poetry about bondage model Bettie Page has been sacked with negative reviews that have nothing to do with her skills as a writer, but simply to call out her political agenda.