MU Alert system gets improvements for new school year

1 year 11 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, September 01 2016 Sep 1, 2016 Thursday, September 01, 2016 6:45:00 PM CDT September 01, 2016 in News
By: Anthony Romano, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - MU Alert, the University of Missouri's online emergency information center, will be including more specific information in its alerts moving forward, officials said Thursday.

MUPD Chief Doug Schwandt confirmed at an open discussion at the MU Student Center that, effective immediately, emergency alerts will now incorporate specific locations where incidents have occurred.

The change comes in response to complaints from students that previous alerts were too vague in their description of potential emergency situations on campus.

"One of the criticisms was 'Hey, we want to know where [the emergency]'s at,'" Schwandt said. "Our system didn't say that, it said 'shots fired on campus.' As we all know, we have a pretty big campus, so there was a lot of people wanting to know more information about where it was."

Other improvements to the system include MU Alert now being synced through the "GoMizzou" app, where messages will be disseminated in addition to emails and text messages.

MU has also added more emergency alert beacons around campus that provide information in the case of an emergency.

"We expand those beacons a lot every single year," said Eric Evans, MU's emergency management coordinator. "When I first started here two years ago, there were 200. Now there are over 350 of them."

Schwandt expressed that the decision to issue a mass alert message is taken seriously and an alert is sent only if there is "an imminent threat to campus."

The announcements came at an event facilitated by the Missouri Students Association called "Roar at Us." The open forum will continue once a month and is meant to address "top concerns of the student body," according to MU's "Stuff to Do" website. The theme of this specific forum was MU Alert.

"It's always going to be the vagueness of the alerts," said MSA President Sean Earl on what his biggest concern about MU Alert is moving forward. "I think that's just a reality of the situation. I definitely hope we can get as much information as possible into those messages so students can know where to go, where not to go, and generally where to address those different types of situations."

Schwandt said there are still aspects of the system he doesn't like, such as the "all clear" messages sent after an active situation is deemed safe. He compared it to a tornado, in that one can never be certain when a situation is "all clear." However, the system keeps it in use due to public support for the feature.

Some students also expressed concerns with MU's clery release system. Specifically, they were concerned with the "vague descriptions" of suspects with regard to race, gender, etc.

Schwandt said his team includes as much information as is available at the time of the release and that anything that could help find a suspect is made public.

"If we have it, we put it out," Schwandt said. "We're not going to not put something in there that would help solve the case."

The university plans to test the new changes to the system during the school's "safety week" which begins September 12.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
MOBERLY - A severe thunderstorm brought half-dollar sized hail and hundreds of power outages to Randolph County Thursday evening. ... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 10:05:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Three Indiana men involved in the armed robbery of a Walgreens pharmacy were indicted Thursday by a... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 9:32:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Public Transit Advisory Commission (PTAC) is pushing back over proposed budget cuts to the city's public transit... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 7:46:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Missouri candidate who recently claimed a surprise victory in the Republican primary for state auditor is now... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 7:21:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Audrain County Sheriff's Office says the widely-circulated story of a dog found with taped legs... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 5:21:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Prosecutors charged a Columbia man with murder Thursday, two months after deputies found a woman dead in a... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 4:16:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
TUSCUMBIA - A convicted murderer charged with the killing of an Eldon girl in 1984 got a change of venue... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 3:57:13 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
SEDALIA - Gov. Mike Parson, lawmakers and agriculture experts talked to Missouri farmers at the State Fair Thursdsay, to assure... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:54:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police are searching for the man pictured above, saying he is a suspect in a Thursday morning... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:50:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - An invasive beetle has spread to 11 new counties in Missouri. The emerald ash borer kills more than... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:27:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri announcement a financial windfall Thursday that will help feed hundreds... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:20:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri candidate who recently claimed a surprise victory in the Republican primary for state... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:05:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley filed a lawsuit Thursday against a St. Louis housing complex where reported... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 10:57:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - St.Louis-based SSM Health confirmed Thursday it is exploring a transfer of its Jefferson City and Mexico hospitals to... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 10:28:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Regional Airport managers held the first All Things Airport monthly meeting on Thursday. The meeting was... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 9:48:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in Top Stories
(CNN) - Aretha Franklin, whose gospel-rooted singing and bluesy yet expansive delivery earned her the title "the Queen of Soul,"... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 9:46:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Thursday morning's latest drought update from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) shows the expansion of drought... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 9:15:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Missouri woman who's charged with killing her 5-year-old daughter and critically injuring her 1-year-old son... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 8:38:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 71°
3am 71°
4am 71°
5am 71°
6am 71°