Following the April 16, 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech, Radford University updated its alert system so students would be notified of potential dangers sooner than in previous years.
Currently, there are nine ways students can be notified in the event of an emergency: RU alert notification, campus IP telephone reverse announcement system, RU active crawl computer messaging, campus siren and verbal notification system, campus signage system, campus cable television interrupt system, RU website, WVRU public radio and social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. All or a combination of some may be used in the event of an on campus emergency or off campus emergency. Using multiple communication systems helps keep students informed and educated while spear heading potential rumors in an emergency situation.
RU is also equipped with a set of Emergency Notification System Protocols, which is a set of guidelines used by personnel that give instructions on what to do in the event of an emergency.
Details of the system and its development can be found in Student alerts get technical, an article previously published on Whim.
Recently, RU students and faculty have been contacted multiple times through various forms of the RU alert system due to armed robberies and alleged assaults that have occurred both on and off campus. Though informative, these alerts have not been consistently timely, many arriving 30-40 minutes after the event or situation occurred. This has some students questioning the functionality of the alert system itself.
Penelope Kyle, president of RU, answered questions pertaining to the alert system in hopes of easing doubt.
Elizabeth Heinz reports.