Letter to the editor
Posted May 18, 2010 at 6:56 pm in Opinion
I am extremely disappointed in the universityâ€™s failure to communicate with students, faculty and staff on Tuesday, April 27, while the school was on lockdown following a bomb threat to Leavey Library.
The lives of all members of the Trojan Family are endangered when critical emergency information is not disseminated in a timely fashion. As of 3 p.m., I had not received a single notification regarding the incident. Furthermore, there was nothing listed on the USC website home page or on the Emergency Information Page regarding the incident. When I visited the website on April 27, it stated that the site was last updated on March 15, 2010.
This lack of information not only caused my colleagues and I to be mildly inconvenienced but created chaos as people attempted to leave campus in their vehicles, unaware that the gates surrounding campus would be locked.
The lack of information caused students and visitors alike to swarm the area hoping to gather information, likely making the job of the safety officials more difficult as they had to deal with the crowds rather than investigate the threat.
A simple e-mail sent to the entire USC community acknowledging the lockdown would have alleviated the fear, chaos and inconvenience experienced by all. I know this is something USC has the means to do, as, just that day, I received an e-mail sent to all students regarding purchasing fall football tickets.
To be fair, I have heard in several news reports that a Trojans Alert was sent out regarding the situation. However, as a graduate student I have never had the opportunity to sign up for such a service. Trojans Alert and similar services only serve their purpose when all community members are made aware of their existence.
While helicopters hovering overhead were likely broadcasting information across Los Angeles, those of us on campus were not informed about what was taking place just a few feet away. In the future, I hope that a school-wide e-mail, website updates and a comprehensive emergency notification system are all used to alert us when there is an emergency taking place.
Thankfully, the incident was merely a scare. I hate to think what the result would have been if, God forbid, there were an actual bomb on or near campus and students, faculty, and staff were not given the information necessary to keep themselves safe and allow law enforcement officials to do their job in the most effective manner possible.
Master of Public Policy candidate