We need real-time safety alerts

Last Monday, Campus Safety alerted the entire University of La Verne community via a vague email about a lockdown affecting several buildings, students and employees – two hours after the lockdown had ended and the dangerous situation had been resolved. Failing to alert us about a potentially dangerous situation that warrants a lockdown, while the situation is in fact potentially dangerous, does not warn or protect us, as such an email blast should. 

 At 10:17 a.m. on Feb. 11, the La Verne Police Department notified Campus Safety of an incident occurring on Second Street, east of E Street. Nearby buildings on campus were locked down until LVPD lifted the lockdown request at 10:40 a.m. However, students and faculty did not receive an email alert until 12:46 p.m.

The students and faculty should have been informed about the incident as it was happening. Students and faculty may have needed to access those buildings during that time frame, and some might have attempted to do so, unwittingly putting themselves in danger.

The University has two ways of alerting its students about incidents on campus. The first is the Banner System, which sends automatic texts and voice mails whenever incidents, such as a lockdown, occur on campus. However, this is an opt-in system that not everyone knows about. If the system itself is poorly or infrequently promoted, then fewer people on campus will benefit from it. 

The second is an email system controlled by Stu Info. In accordance with the timely warning requirement of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act of 1990, Stu Info sends out timely emails about non-active incidents. As everyone on campus automatically receives email alerts, the email alert system should be improved. 

There are two ways the Campus Safety alerts can be improved: the Banner System should be better advertised and Stu Info should send out more timely emails while the incident is occurring, and then follow up with more detailed emails about the incident once it becomes nonactive. Even if all the details of the danger are not immediately available, students and faculty should be warned of such danger in real time so they can keep themselves safe.

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

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