Speedier campus alert system vital to student safety

I don’t feel safe on campus, and unfortunately, I’m not the only one.

I’ve always been super paranoid about walking around on and off campus at night by myself and try to avoid it as much as possible. However, it’s starting to look like I need to be cautious walking around campus by myself in broad daylight.

In the last month, there have been several incidences where a student was robbed on or just off campus before sunset. One was even alarmingly close to noon.

The past few times, the campus community received an email from the Bradley University Police Department several hours after the initial incident to let everyone know what had happened.

The intent of those emails was not to freak everyone out, but it looks like that’s what ended up happening.

On Oct. 5, we received a notification at 3:30 p.m., letting the student body know someone had been robbed on campus at 10 a.m. I got the email while I was with several of my friends, and we were all confused and a little nervous to be on campus.

If something happens on campus, like a robbery, and especially a strong-armed robbery, students should know immediately. When we are informed several hours after the incident, only then do we realize we could have been in danger of being robbed, or worse.

This seems to be the part students are freaked out about.

When the incident took place hours before the email was sent out, there’s nothing students can do to protect themselves from it, since it already happened. Thankfully this hasn’t happened yet, but if one student is robbed, the suspects may find another student and rob them and then another student, and so on.

All of this can be more easily avoided if students are made immediately aware of the situation, and know to avoid certain areas of campus or walk with friends instead of alone.

The problem with the emails being so late is students can’t protect themselves from something that’s already occurred. If something is deemed important enough to let the entire campus know it’s happened, sending a foreWarn text message would be appropriate. Better safe than sorry, right?

Of course, this isn’t necessarily the BUPD’s fault. The student who was robbed at 10 a.m. did not report the robbery until 1:16 p.m. Though the email was still sent out almost two hours later, the BUPD obviously couldn’t have warned campus any sooner than when it was reported.

Students need to do their part too, and report any crime as soon as it happens. This will cut down on the time the rest of the campus needs to wait to know about the incident, and reporting the incident immediately may keep other students safe.

Even if crime on or off campus can’t be 100 percent prevented, I would definitely like to be more prepared to defend myself or walk a different way if a crime has just occurred close to where I am or where I’m going. Since the BUPD is still working out kinks with the new email system, I think this will definitely be more possible after a bit of tweaking of the timeliness of the alerts.