Despite last Friday’s bomb threat in Wallis Hall, the University chose to withhold all information both during and after the incident. Despite the option of sending an AlertUR, the University kept students in the dark, a fact that disturbs us on several levels.
“There is a step-by-step analysis that occurs very quickly to determine a threat’s credibility,” Deputy Director of Operations for Public Safety Mark Fischer said “The University chose not to publicize the incident at the time to avoid student panic.”
Still, if the administration believes that such a notification would pose a safety risk, it should at the very least release a statement shortly after the incident. The University’s failure to communicate information about such a threat to student safety is cause for serious concern.
We should follow the example of other institutions, such as Texas A&M, which sent a school-wide electronic alert with precise details about a bomb threat that occurred this past year. Incidentally, the school also implemented a campus-wide evacuation. UR should follow its lead.
Although it is important to minimize panic and maintain order during such crises, it is equally crucial that we stay fully informed, lest our safety be compromised.