Crime alert system needs upgrade

/editorial by Natasha Brennan
editorial cartoon by Natasha Brennan

The University of La Verne prides itself on the level of safety it provides its students. With full-time campus security, proximity to the La Verne police department, video cameras, blue emergency poles, the LiveSafe app and procedure posters in each classroom, it’s hard to feel unsafe on campus. The University also employs the “chad” system, or radio frequency identification, locks on every dorm entrance. But what the institution has yet to fully recognize is the safety that comes with awareness.

To keep students and staff informed, the University employs two systems: e2Campus, which sends out a campus-wide alert via phone and email during a current and life-threatening emergency, and a campus incident alert sent through Stu Info that is supposed to inform students and staff about non-active incidents within a timely manner. The email alerts are supposed to be in accordance with the timely warning requirement of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act of 1990.

“This federal law requires a general communication to the campus community of all crimes reported to campus or local police departments that may pose a threat to the campus community.

Such reports shall be provided to students and employees in a manner that is timely and that may aid in the prevention of similar occurrences,” the email said.

However, there are multiple problems with the campus alert emails, including timeliness and the fact that students receive the emails separate from faculty.

Recently, the campus alerts have not been emailed in a timely manner. For example, on March 8 the Stu Info email reported a strong-arm robbery that occurred in the Circle K parking lot. A female student was approached by an unknown male who stole her iPad and fled. Upon further investigation by the Campus Times and confirmation from the La Verne Police Department, it was found the incident actually took place Feb. 21.

Not only were students notified 15 days late, but the incident was reported to have happened at 9:30 a.m. the day of the email. Students cannot be expected to be on alert for suspicious activity when they are not even aware of the correct time and date of an incident.

On April 20, the campus incident alert email reported a strong arm robbery/snatch and run that happened the day before, April 19, at 11:46 p.m.

Although this email was sent to the campus in a more timely manner, faculty received the email over three hours before students. Faculty received the email at 10:52 a.m. and students received the email at 1:56 p.m.

There is no reason to alert faculty before students when the alerts are about past incidents. The system separates students and staff in the database and emails them separately. This needs to be fixed so that the campus incident alerts treat students and staff equally with important safety information.

Professors are not on campus as often as students. They may have classes or office hours only a couple days a week. Students have the option to live on campus, therefore spending more time here than any other professor does, and should be wary of possible dangers.

With many Campus Activity Board and Associated Students of the University of La Verne events beginning at 10 p.m., students could be walking around campus late at night. For example, the CAB-ASULV Destination Procrastination ended at 1 a.m. Friday morning.

If students are walking on campus so late at night, they deserve to be informed of safety concerns. Students deserve to be alerted at the same time as professors, if not before, especially after school hours.

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Unsigned editorials represent the opinion of the Campus Times Editorial Board.

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