The University has filled a missing facet of UR Security with the introduction of AlertUR. With the ability to contact all undergraduates, and soon everyone else in the University community, Security can contain possible catastrophes should they occur at UR. This issue is especially critical in the aftermath of shootings at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois, where a system similar to AlertUR may have been able to save lives.
Instead of rushing a system that would not incorporate everything that the University needs, the administration has done a commendable job in taking a careful and thoughtful approach in instituting AlertUR. Research into comparable programs at other schools and recent scalability tests demonstrate the administration’s care in making sure that the system works as efficiently as possible.
This program is a first step in a very positive direction, but not the panacea of all security problems at the University. A timely e-mail, the only required form of notification under AlertUR, may not be sufficient in critical situations. Also, Security should collaborate with Residential Life’s effort to make sure that all students have their contact information stored in a centralized location, which is especially important for commuter students.
The University administration will have succeeded with Alert-UR when every member of the community is incorporated. The collaboration between the University and students in creating a final system should be applauded given the nature of student involvement in its implementation. It is also laudable that the University took such precision on a realistic timetable – this should be repeated in the future.