Last Friday, the University of Miami Police Department (UMPD) sent out an alert to students, faculty and employees through its Emergency Notification Network (ENN).
Held hostage and strapped to a suspected bomb, a 25-year-old bank teller was sent into his own branch, Coral Gables’ Bank of America, to assist in a $100,000 robbery.
In emergency situations like this, the ENN system is the best possible communication solution for an open campus like ours. Through a series of messages, UMPD warned students with their STAY policy. STAY is a mnemonic device that stands for “secure your area, take cover, advise and you must take measure to protect your safety.”
Although this policy raises awareness about personal responsibility and safety, it does not directly tell students what future steps should be taken. Where is the action behind these alert messages? The vague messages leave students not only worried, but also curious. We wonder if we’re expected to go to class, or if we should stay on campus or leave. Including specific details of what measures student should take in alert notifications would be beneficial to students.
Two South Miami elementary schools were placed on lockdown during the incident, but UM continued to function as normal. This discrepancy brings to the mind the question, when is a campus lockdown necessary?
Last November, our campus was locked down due to a BB gun scare. If our campus went on lockdown after a situation of lesser intensity, shouldn’t the same precaution be taken when there is a supposed bomb just across the street?
Despite the fact that the hostage incident took place off campus, we should still be aware of the the actions we should take to ensure our safety based on what is happening in the surrounding environment.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.