SG’s poor pacing without needed funds

UK’s response to the two break-ins that took place in Blanding Tower on Feb. 23 and 24 revealed flaws in the campus emergency management.

Women in two Blanding Tower rooms were awakened early in the morning to see an unknown man who had entered the unlocked rooms while they were sleeping, the Kernel reported Feb. 27.

UK did not issue a campus-wide alert in response to the incident. University police and administrators said it was an isolated incident and the situation did not pose an imminent threat to the rest of campus, according to the article.

Instead, an advisory to people in Blanding Tower and nearby areas was issued in the form of posted signs in the building because UK does not have a way to e-mail only Blanding Tower residents, the article reported.

First of all, a campus-wide e-mail notification after the incident is appropriate and useful. The information of the attempted burglaries, while belated, is relevant to all of campus. While the suspect may be a resident in Blanding Tower, as UK police believes, similar incidents can happen in any dorm. It is important that residents are aware of the break-ins and take precautions accordingly, especially by locking their doors when they are away and when they are sleeping.

Secondly, UK should have clear guidelines for issuing campus alerts and publicizing it to all of campus. According to the 2007 Campus Safety and Security Report, UK police issues a campus safety alert when “a credible threat to the personal safety or property has been identified or has occurred.” For the sake of consistency and efficiency, these terms have to be defined more specifically and made aware to the student body.

Lastly, UK should have the ability to e-mail residents of individual dorms. Students already provide their e-mail addresses when they sign up for on-campus housing, so there’s no reason that UK should not have an e-mail database of each dorm’s residents. Such a database is easy to create and manage, and it can be useful in sending out dorm and regional alerts.

This incident shows that UK cannot keep its campus safety alert guidelines in vague terms and leave it to personnel in charge to make an impromptu judgment. Clarifying the guidelines can help make the administrators’ job easier and the students safer.