“Seen: Caucasian man with shoulder length blonde hair in green rain jacket, navy blue seals cap, and faded jeans that pulled a knife on someone after shouting a bunch of expletives in the student union. Last seen heading towards north campus. Please be on guard.”
As I read this alert, I began to feel slightly on edge and curious, yet I couldn’t help feeling it was a bit awkward as well. Awkward? Why would this helpful and informative alert message seem a little weird? I was first reading it on Overheard at UNC, and not my official Alert Carolina notification text or email.
The news traveled more quickly, and more effectively through a massive social networking site, and not an official first-rate University of North Carolina-approved system of communicating. Simply put, Facebook did it better. They reached a widespread college audience more quickly, and could have potentially saved more lives in the wake of a crisis because of it.
The question needs to be asked: Why does my high-level public university’s security system seem to have a delayed alert messaging system?
An official state school that “has been consistently ranked among the highest ranked universities in the United States” can’t protect its high population of young college students in a manner that is more effective than Zuckerberg’s baby. My college, an entity that has massive amounts of my (and my family’s) information, couldn’t even come close to contacting me as quickly as Facebook. The time-difference between the two notifications was 9 minutes. What could you do with nine minutes? How much further could you have been? How many more precautions could you have taken?
All I know is, for the amount of my family’s money that this school is getting, I should feel like I have protection comparable to my personal and close friend, President Barack Obama.
“All Clear, all clear. Resume normal activities. alertcarolina.unc.edu for updates. Received: Sun Mar 23, 5:18 pm”
I probably could’ve relaxed 9 minutes earlier.