Last week’s random BB gun shootings were unfortunate. Luckily, this disturbing incident was brought to student attention very quickly. The speed and depth of security’s response was one good thing that came from this event.

The Campus Times criticized security’s choice to withhold information about last year’s cat killing from students for over a week, but this time security behaved in exactly the right manner. This demonstrated how security can use technology to provide effective coverage of a threat to student safety.

Within hours of the shooting, bulletins were posted around campus and an e-mail had been sent to all students. These are effective tools for informing students of important campus events without being alarmist. The tone of the e-mail expressed concern, portrayed the seriousness of the event and prevented wild rumors without unnecessarily frightening students.

This was appropriate behavior on the part of administration, and hopefully it is also an indicator of future actions. UR needs to continue to alert students to dangers as rapidly as possible, but they should ensure that the e-mail list includes all faculty and staff. Safety threats are not limited to students. If there is a dangerous person roaming campus, he or she poses an equal threat to a janitor, a dean or a student.

In the future, if an event warrants a posted announcement, an e-mail announcement should also be sent out, as was done in this instance. E-mail is the fastest and most effective way to spread information across campus, and this simple note will greatly increase the chances that future safety concerns are avoided. Sending one out for important incidents won’t be overkill, it will be informative. Safety is more important than a cluttered inbox, and it is best to provide students with safety information as quickly as possible.

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