Radford University is dedicated to excellence regarding the safety of their students. The creation of the RU Alert system has allowed parents and students to have piece of mind. In light of recent crimes occurring throughout the semester, the system is under a magnifying glass to see how well it can protect RU students.
Alerts are sent out notifying students, faculty, and parents of potential dangers near or on campus. Anything that could be of potential harm to the RU community is considered for an alert. “If it is on or close to our campus and we feel that it poses a threat to faculty, staff, students, visitors on our campus, we send an alert out,” said RU President Penelope Kyle.
Many of the undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at RU live in apartments and houses in the areas surrounding the campus, known as “lightside” and “darkside” (the areas on the East and West sides of campus). Since so many students live outside the campus walls, RU administration has decided that alerts should be sent out for threats occurring on campus and off campus in order to protect students as much as possible. “We can’t guarantee your safety, no one can,” said Kyle.
After being redesigned five years ago, the RU Alert system has been updated to send out text messages, emails, and automated phone calls. When an event occurs that poses a threat to members of the RU community, a chain of communication between police and RU officials begins to decide if an alert is necessary. Radford University Police, Radford City Police, President Kyle and addition members of the administration consult each other to decide if an alert should go out.
The point of this entire process is to limit the amount of alerts to the most important information, and what is most relevant to the RU community. “We don’t want it to become common place, because if you become bored or used to it, when something happens you won’t pay attention to it,” said Kyle. If members of the community receive alerts for every small report occurring, it is likely that in the event of a serious threat, the alert could be ignored.
Alerts are also posted on the RU website and under the MyRU portal to add additional opportunities for students and faculty to be informed. Sirens and public announcement speakers are located throughout campus to assist in signaling potential danger. Students who live in the dorms have a system that interrupts television programming to flash RU alerts if residents have a television in their dorm rooms.
The RU Office of Emergency Preparedness is responsible for maintaining all of these features. On their web page they also have numbers to the RU Police, City Police, and various other safety resources, along with information about each of the features that RU uses to keep the community safe from harm. Information on how to subscribe (or unsubscribe) to RU Alerts is also available on that page.