Students must play a part in safety

Last week, Linfield Campus Safety Director Mike Dressel sent another one of his famous campus-wide e-mails, only this time he wasn’t reporting another crime.

Instead, Dressel was urging students to sign up for the new e-mail and text message alert system. Although the topic has already been well covered by the Review, we think it is important that students take advantage of the opportunity.

If the service is available and no one signs up, no one will benefit. Dressel said only 282 students have signed up so far.

The New York Times reported on Nov. 21 that just two days earlier a student at the University of Chicago was shot and killed in a violent crime off campus. A university professor was shot at and two other undergraduates were harassed within an hour of the crime.

Nine hours passed before the university sent warnings about a suspicious and violent person on or near the campus.

No immediate alert was sent to students, who later questioned the possible value of a text message alert system. Students said the system would have played a crucial role and would have been an appropriate preventative safety measure.

According to Portland TV station Fox 12 KPTV, on Dec. 4 Portland police were called to Lewis & Clark College to investigate an attempted abduction. A female student was grabbed by a man and dragged down a pathway before she was able to get free and go for help.

In this case, text message alerts would be a great idea. Warning students of a suspicious person would prevent them from going to the area and keep them safe by making them aware of possible strangers on the small campus.

The Lewis & Clark campus is not much different than ours; they are both small, and although we are not in urban Portland, every city has its share of creeps.

Dressel said Linfield’s e-mail and emergency text service would inform students primarily of weather-related information. However, it would also notify us of a situation like the one that occurred in April at Virginia Polytechnic University.

But if less than 300 students are signed up for the service, what happens to the other 1,700 students and faculty? They are left wandering around campus during an emergency situation.

The solution is to sign up. LCS is making efforts to improve the safety on campus, but there are actions we as students must take as well to protect ourselves. Sign up for the text message alert system provided by LCS. The only cost is what your service provider charges for a text message.

The easiest way to do so is by digging Dressel’s Nov. 27 e-mail out of the “deleted items” folder and following the directions provided.

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