A shooting that left three dead in College Station on Monday did not occur on the campus of Texas A&M University or involve members of the A&M community. Yet in headlines around the country, it is being referred to as the "Texas A&M shooting."
With new students scheduled to move into A&M's residence halls on Sunday, this has left the university with a bit of a public relations problem that officials are scrambling to rectify.
"It’s extremely important for us that our new students coming into campus and their families understand that this is a very safe campus," said A&M spokesman Jason Cook. "We truly care about the safety of our students and we have many, many safety measures in place."
In fact, the university's speedy response to the incident may have contributed to the confusion. Universities are required by the federal Clery Act of 1990 to issue timely information regarding potential safety threats to students and employees. So when shots rang out mere blocks away from campus, with details scarce, the university swiftly issued a campus-wide "Code Maroon" alert warning students faculty and staff of an "active shooter" and encouraging them to remain indoors and avoid the area of campus nearest to the incident.