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University Implements Mass Emergency Plan

Danielle Kloap
Around Campus Editor

   Due to the tragedy at Virginia Tech last year, the University of Arkansas at Monticello is currently implementing an emergency plan.
   The university made arrangements with the Arkansas Crime Information Center to implement a mass emergency communication system.

   Clay Brown, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, said the plan will help protect the campus.

   “The warning system will alert the campus to possibly dangerous incidents,” Brown said.

   The ACIC warning system can alert cell phones, landline phones, fax machines and e-mail. Brown said the agency is looking into sending text messages to cell phones next year.

   Brown said the campus wanted to implement a warning system that would get information to students quicker than just sending an e-mail.

   “If (the administration) sends an e-mail, the (students) may not check their e-mail until they get out of class,” Brown said. “Some (students) don’t routinely check their e-mail.”

   Brown also pointed out the campus would not be able to check their e-mail if the electricity went off.

   In the case of an incident on campus, ACIC will send out automated messages or it can send personal messages from Public Safety or the administrative team.

   Brown said the system will provide warnings for various emergencies including a campus shooting, tornado threat, fire, violent crimes and other scenarios.

   Brown said the Registrar’s office is taking emergency contact numbers. He stressed that the number a student turns in needs to be their personal number, not their parents'. Contact numbers can be turned in any time. Brown said the university is working towards getting this information from incoming students when they register for classes.

   The university sent an e-mail out to the campus notifying them about the plan. Brown said there will be fliers and posters around campus with information about the emergency plan.

   Brittaney Miller, a first-year early childhood education major, said she had not heard about the plan.

   “Now that I know (about the plan), I’m going to turn in my number,” Miller said. “I think (the plan) is a great idea, but I didn’t know about it.”

   Amanda Couch, a junior nursing major, said she already turned in her phone number for the emergency plan.

   “I’m really glad (the university) is doing this,” Couch said. “Hopefully, this will stop something like what happened at Virginia Tech happening here.”

   Brown said the university is still gathering student information right now. The campus will begin receiving messages from the emergency communication system as soon as the numbers are taken to Little Rock and loaded into the ACIC’s system.

   For more information on the mass emergency communication plan, please contact the Student Affairs Office at 460-1053.


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©The Voice 2007
09/17/2007 09:07:11 PM —


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