MU Alert system gets improvements for new school year

6 months 3 weeks 2 days ago September 01, 2016 Sep 1, 2016 Thursday, September 01 2016 Thursday, September 01, 2016 6:45:00 PM CDT 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
FORSYTH, Mo . (AP) — Authorities said a southern Missouri man told investigators he was either sleepwalking or dreaming when... More >>
1 hour ago March 26, 2017 Mar 26, 2017 Sunday, March 26 2017 Sunday, March 26, 2017 10:25:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Officers said a suspect is on the run after a robbery at an Extended Stay America Saturday night.... More >>
13 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:39:11 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A hearing for Sturgeon Police Chief Greg Halderman will take place on Monday. On the week of... More >>
16 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 7:16:00 PM CDT in News
LINN - State Technical College in Linn opened up its campus to recruit prospective students and to show off what... More >>
19 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:49:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Fire Protection District said Saturday it is conducting a search and rescue at the Katfish... More >>
19 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:37:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two men each are jailed on $750,000 bond after being accused in connection with the St.... More >>
20 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 3:38:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Two semi trucks and multiple cars were part of a wreck Saturday that closed westbound I-70. The... More >>
20 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 3:23:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Republican-led Missouri Legislature will get back to a business-friendly agenda when it returns from... More >>
23 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 12:35:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:54:00 AM CDT in News
CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — An activist who helped shut down a St. Louis-area freeway during protests commemorating the first anniversary... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:45:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a 15-year-old boy was killed and six other people were critically wounded... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:41:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – A group of local artists hosted a fundraiser Friday night, giving people people the chance to view works... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 5:40:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia businesses are coming together to encourage community members to lead healthy and balanced lives. Keystone Chiropractic... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 5:28:00 AM CDT in News
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Officials in a Kansas City suburb where a fire destroyed a multimillion-dollar apartment building under... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:30:30 AM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Police say a man arrived at a Missouri hospital with his lips apparently glued together after coming... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:19:00 AM CDT in News
COLE COUNTY - Deputies arrested a man Friday evening for shooting a gun near Rainbow Hills Road, the sheriff's office... More >>
1 day ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 8:39:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department said Friday it will begin patrolling areas with a high concentration of student housing... More >>
1 day ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 7:09:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri judge says summaries of initiative petitions against right to work no longer fit since... More >>
1 day ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 6:59:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
12pm 54°
1pm 57°
2pm 58°
3pm 58°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:00a
NHL Hockey
2:00p
PGA Tour Golf
6:00p
Little Big Shots
12:00p
Family Guy
12:30p
Family Guy
1:00p
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Little Big Shots
8:00p
Chicago Justice
9:00p
Shades of Blue
6:00p
Mystic Pizza
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld