A gunman made his way into the residence hall on Friday, Jan. 24. He threatened a student at gunpoint for about two hours. When a resident assistant was notified about what was happening, she found a public safety officer.
It took 24 minutes before residents in Caroline Hall were notified of the danger via an emergency text message.
Other faculty members, staff and non-residents on campus were not warned that a gunman was on campus. It took 13 hours for campus security to alert everyone else about what had happened.
The gunman was loose on campus before being apprehended. He could have accessed any building. Anyone, anywhere on campus could have been in danger. The situation could have been very different if he decided to pull the trigger.
We were lucky that he did not.
A safer option should have been to notify everyone immediately of the potential danger.
It is time to revise the protocol for emergency notifications. We can learn from schools like Virginia Tech and deliver emergency notifications quickly through a variety of channels, including:
• The Mount Mary homepage
• Desktop computers on campus
• All school email accounts
• All cellular devices (students, staff and faculty need to ensure they are subscribed to these services)
• Desktop alerts (when this application is downloaded, students are alerted on their home computers)
It is unusual that such high-profile incidents of crime have been occurring on our university’s campus in such a short period of time. Now we need to act! Let’s learn from this and make Mount Mary safer for all.