Once again, the Emergency Notification Network (ENN) and UMPD have failed to alert students. Early Sunday morning, two individuals were spotted on campus, one with a handgun. Apparently the university went into lock down, unbeknown to students for a second time.
Although text alerts and notifications were issued to students, it was not done immediately. There was a three-and-a-half-hour period between the 5 a.m. estimated time of offense and the text alerts issued at approximately 8:30 a.m. UMPD sent an email at 10:07 a.m., describing the offense in more detail. While a delay between the actual occurrence of the offense and the time when alerts are issued is understandable, it should not be this long.
According to the university’s ENN Web site, the system is a “comprehensive communications solution that allows the university to quickly disseminate an urgent message through multiple communication mediums.” It is supposed to warn students of dangerous situations, but has consistently failed to do exactly that.
Although it is an improvement that students were notified this time, the alerts seem to be an afterthought, in reaction to UMPD’s incompetency last week. Students need to know right away when they are potentially in danger. The failure to warn students immediately is risky and irresponsible.
For a second time, students could have been put in harm’s way, simply because they were uninformed. The lack of communication needs to be addressed, because eventually the university will not be so lucky. In the future something more serious could occur, and this is not a lesson the student body should be forced to learn the hard way.