Emergency alert system sheds light on modern day campus realities

by Emili JohnsonStaff Writer

This past Friday, administrators tested the new SAFE alert system. The system is meant to alert students, staff and faculty if any violent situation were to occur on campus. The system will also send alerts about severe weather.

Aside from the alert system, many members of the community have implemented new programming and ideas to not only help students adjust to college living, but also how to stay safe throughout their Simpson experience.

Stephanie Krauth, associate dean of students, feels students should simply take more responsibility in keeping themselves safe from the worse possible scenario.

“You have a college campus that is seen by those…on the outside who want to take advantage or steal,” Krauth said. “[Simpson] students are vulnerable because they are so comfortable.”

Krauth, who considers herself an advocate for student safety, feels that students should engage in the whole experience to make sure bad things do not happen.

To Krauth, it is important to know where you are and be aware of your surroundings. This also means becoming familiar with the student handbook and knowing school policies regarding sexual assault and harassment.

Krauth also feels a certain level of maturing has to happen before a student can take their own safety seriously.

“Students in this day and age are in the process of maturing and growing up,” Krauth said. “Even things like being aware of your surroundings and looking out for yourself and your friends can really make a difference.”

On the flip side to staying safe on campus, there is also the element of utilizing certain campus services that help students deal with the many stresses of college.

Ellie Olson, director of counseling services, says it is very important for students to advocate for themselves and create boundaries to prevent stress.

“Advocating for yourself can mean saying ‘no’ to things and giving yourself time in the day to breathe and not running from one spot to another.” Olson said.

Olson feels students should know that there is someone to talk to when the weight of the world gets to be too much.

“For some who are struggling, the stresses that college brings, which are adherent in the transition to a new place and meeting new people, those things can add to stress that is already high and that can lead to bad things happening,” Olson said.

While college administrators are doing what is possible for the worst case scenario, it is important for students to think about themselves first and remember as a college we are not closed off from the rest of the world.

Chris Frerichs, director of security, mentioned that students should play an active role in their own safety, whether it is through updating information for the alert system on StormFront to locking their car doors.

“Safety is kind of relative and you have to take a proactive role in your own safety,” Frerichs said.