Criminal Justice Degrees Guide

Mass Alert Systems Keeping Students Safe During Campus Emergencies

It is far too easy to see a college campus as a safe haven or a bubble which nothing could ever penetrate. However, it is an unfortunate reality that crime and catastrophe could easily make its way into the learning halls of an institution, putting the lives of students and faculty at risk. To prepare for the off chance that an emergency situation should arise – whether it is related to crime or inclement weather – many universities have implemented emergency response systems.

It is not necessarily a bad thing for students to not worry about emergency crises arising on school grounds. Scholars at a university have enough on their minds; studying for classes, completing essays, preparing for examinations and socializing are the primary concerns of a university student, as they should be. After all, if students are not preoccupied with their personal safety, that means that the environment is at least somewhat secure. Universities themselves typically have few concerns for the safety of their student bodies as well aside from having to deal with a few alcohol-fueled brawls now and then. Yet, when emergency does strike, universities are ready to spring into action.

Incidents of horrific campus violence can be contained by emergency alert systems. Such systems were already in place in most schools across the nation, but many of these systems were outdated, inefficient, and ineffective. Mass alert systems are supposed to inform every student of possible dangers, but many alert systems either only contacted some students and not others due to glitches or utilized communication channels that not all students regularly accessed. After 2007, that all changed. That year, the Virginia Tech massacre resulted in the deaths of 5 faculty members and 27 students as a lone gunman terrorized a school building. This incident sparked the rush for many universities to update and improve their mass emergency alert systems so that should a situation like that one arise again, more lives can be saved. Today, nearly every university has in place an emergency alert system that simultaneously sends out texts, phone calls, and e-mails to every student enrolled if a crisis occurs. Typically, students are required to update their contact information each year while registering for classes to ensure that the alert system has the most up-to-date information.

Now, these alert systems can advise students to stay away from certain areas, be wary, or stay off the campus completely if catastrophe breaks out.

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