University fails to TXT-U

The U should review its procedure for warning students of possible danger.

In the aftermath of the on-campus shooting of a student last week, we should look toward improving future campus safety. The University of MinnesotaâÄôs long response time has been mentioned in this newspaper; an e-mail was not sent to students until 12 hours after the shooting. The University has said they thought the suspects posed no further threat, even though the suspects fled through the middle of the superblock toward Huron Boulevard Southeast. Those in charge of the warning system should not have assumed there was no longer a threat. The suspects were still near four dormitories, not to mention student apartment complexes further east, in the direction the suspects fled. Just because they headed away from campus did not mean they were no longer a threat to students. Another tool the University has to alert students is TXT-U, a text message system to be used âÄúfor real emergency situations.âÄù The University did not send a TXT-U warning to students because they did not want to dilute the impact of TXT-U. But there is hardly a better time to warn students than after a student has been shot on campus; furthermore, the shooting seemed intentional and its victim appeared chosen at random. It was exactly this situation âÄî random, yet intentional shootings on a University campus âÄî that caused the creation of TXT-U in the first place, and it should have been used in this situation. We ask that an e-mail alert and TXT-U message be sent whenever there are confirmed gunshots fired on campus and the suspects are at large and may pose a threat to students. This would not dilute the impact of these messages but rather fulfill their function of warning students when they need it.