COLUMN: Emergency alerts should not be an option
Thank you, Central Michigan University, for alerting me of an abduction on campus last night.
Oh, wait. That was Facebook.
I get it. If I want to be alerted about the latest happenings on campus, I need to register for Central Alert, which I now am.
But why should I have to register to be alerted about breaking news?
It shouldn’t be an option.
It’s understandable the system can’t keep up with phone numbers, but the university has my university email.
I, among many other students who were not registered for the alert system, received first notice from the university about this at 11: 23 yesterday morning. What good is that doing me? What if I went on campus last night after it happened?
Well, I guess I can say thank you Mark Zuckerberg and my fellow Facebook friends for picking up the university’s slack.
Last spring, I was alerted that there was a meningitis outbreak on campus. I was told who contracted the sickness and what steps to take to avoid being diagnosed myself. This all happened regardless of being registered through Central Alert.
I would assume that an emergency alert about abduction, sexual assault and attempted murder are on the same line of precedence.
After receiving the email from University Communications notifying me of what happened, I was still surprised that the university did not take action on telling students how to protect themselves.
The email states: “Yeagley acknowledged the student, calling her a hero and saying she showed strength and made smart decisions.”
What were those smart decisions? UComm failed to address how this situation can help be avoided.
After further learning about what happened, I commend the student for being brave enough to take charge. She did the right thing given the circumstances and her courage is something we should all look up to, man or woman.
CMU was recently ranked the fifth safest campus in Michigan by stateuniversity.com, and we may be safe, but the students who chose to get on the alert list are apparently the safest.
I will be the first to say the Central Alert system is a brilliant idea. We all need to be aware of what is going on, and contacting us is a good call. But student safety shouldn’t just be an option, and we shouldn’t have to log on to a computer to register for it.