Book Reviews

Book by Hemphill, B. O., & LaBanc, B. H.
Review by Wei-Chien
Counseling Services
San Jose State University


“Not preparing for a campus shooting is no longer an option” (p.163). Enough is Enough, an ACPA and NASPA joint publication, aims at helping college campuses prepare for, manage, and recover from the worst case scenarios of campus violence. It provides readers concise and thorough blueprints of the structures, tasks, and organizations of an effective crisis response system. 

The nine chapters in this book were written by administrators and scholars with expertise and experiences in dealing with campus shooting (e.g., the vice presidents and directors of various departments at Northern Illinois University and Virginia Tech.) Using data, research, personal experiences, and published or government-established policies and guidelines, the authors shared insights, principles, and practical steps in building a crisis response system that we all hope we will never use.  

Two common themes articulated through Enough is Enough. First, college campuses must take a proactive approach in preparing for campus shooting by planning ahead, practicing, and building physical and social infrastructures (e.g., relationships with other higher education institutes and local mental health providers and agencies). Second, effective communication and thorough preparation are the keys to reduce the probability of and the harm that may be caused by a campus shooting. 

I consider this book a must read for college administrators. To-do lists and checklists for building or improving campuses’ readiness and resilience in dealing with crises can be easily constructed with the substantial information and suggestions provided through the book. For example, Brunson, Stang, and Dressen (Chapter 5) outlined roles and actions Student Affairs departments may take in responding to a crisis. I especially appreciated that the importance of being sensitive and the process of healing and building a new normal for the community have been addressed in this book. For example, the authors reminded the readers to avoid using insensitive phrases such as “We’d kill to have those students back with us” (p.126). 

However, the book may benefit a wider audience by adding a resources guide, extending the discussions on providing services to diverse groups, and exploring ways to address and amend possible intergroup conflicts during the healing process. First, a Resources Guide would assist readers to obtain the excellent tools referred in the book, such as the “Wallet size information card” for referring students (p.154). Second, providing culturally responsive interventions is the foundation for supporting and healing the campus community, as college campus has become more and more diverse. Finally, as the campus shooting may impact the relationships among different groups on campus, a college need plan to assess the situations and ways to heal the whole community by increasing intergroup trust and support. 

The advisors will find this book useful in gaining knowledge in how their campus may prepare for crises on the department, school, and university levels. However, advisors will not find information from this book on how they may identify, refer, or help students of concerns. Advisors also will not find information on what skills and knowledge may help them to contribute to reducing and preventing campus violence. 

In sum, Enough is Enough is a practical guide for campus administrator to prepare their campus for the worse case scenarios of campus violence. The most effective way to use this book may be as a group reading. However, for people who are looking for more individual-level guide to providing interventions to students, this book may not meet their needs. 

Enough is enough: A student affairs perspective on preparedness and response to a campus shooting (2010). Book by Hemphill, B. O., & LaBanc, B. H. (Eds,). Review by Wei-Chien. Herndon, VA: Stylus. 190 pp. $27.50. ISBN: 978-1-57922-443-1
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |