As a student, I consider it important to know that my safety is important to my university. With all of the tuition I pay, fees they force from me, and fines people pay for parking without proper passes, having a good sense of safety is a minimal return on my investment. Enter the campus alert system.
After the craziness known as the Virginia tech Massacre in 2007, parents and students have been hyper sensitive towards their environment. To aid the hysteria, many schools have adopted an alert system that notifies students and the general public about potential violence and emergency situations on campus. Subscribers will receive emails or text alert messages giving detailed information and instructions on how to remain safe. Good … right?
Well after this alert system went into effect at my own beloved VCU, I started receiving messages that range from weather closures, to random acts of violence. I have seen traffic alerts, tornado warnings, and even school opening delay messages. The most disturbing message came a few nights ago when I saw a message that warned me of a Mob assault and armed robbery (detailed at WTVR.com). I knew then that the school I had been attending, had gone straight to hell in a pretty little hand basket.
Yes, my school has approximately 32,000 students. I understand that with so many people in one place pandemonium can, and often does, take place. I am just a bit scared though about my personal safety as the scene of the violent crimes is creeping closer and closer to my home. Furthermore, I have night classes, and often do not get home until after 10 PM.
Am I wrong for considering the idea of going armed on campus as a good thing? I mean the controversy over it is gaining national news coverage as I’m not the only student considering attending school while armed for bear. I am a disabled person as well. I need to know that my safety is being taken care of. I sympathize with my nondisabled cohort. Want to stop the madness? Increase security and make it stick. Otherwise, we’re calling campus police escorts, bringing our own night sticks, and generally preparing for war in time of peace.