This past week, a student’s online petition raised concerns about the lack of an emergency public address system in the Singles Complex.
The petition, which started on Sunday, Oct. 27, has gathered the support of 119 online signatures, as of the time of publication.
Installing a public address system requires university resources and is not a quick fix. However, the safety of students should be a top priority of the university. Resources allocated toward placing a public address system in the Singles Complex is a step toward fulfilling that priority.
The petition brought forth by students highlights an issue within the university’s security structure.
Resident halls and apartment complexes can house a large number of students, and communicating an emergency message effectively can be challenging. It is important for these buildings to have a system notifying residents living there of any potential threat.
And though the petition specifies the Singles Complex, it is not the only place on campus that lacks the public address system.
Even though the requirement for a mass notification system can be satisfied via other methods, a comprehensive public address system can be crucial in the event of an emergency.
The foreWarn system has its advantages, but a text message or email is not alarming enough to ensure awareness of the emergency right away.
Individuals who are not enrolled for text messages from foreWarn or people who don’t have immediate access to a mobile device would not receive the emergency notification in a timely fashion.
The public address system is an effective method to communicate with the public. It has a similar volume to the fire alarms, and it also has the ability to give directions to everyone, regardless of whether the person is enrolled for text alerts.
Having multiple layers of communication methods ensure the public to be notified timely and effectively, but having a method of communication available only to some is not the way to go.
The university should strongly consider a short-term solution or start the process of finding a way to invest funds into a permanent solution. The safety concerns of students should be acted on.