Alert Carolina is an initiative started at UNC in 2008 as a way to improve campus safety in the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting. Alert Carolina includes a text-alert system and sirens.
There are six sirens spread across campus that are designed to be heard by people outside. The sirens are used for four situations: an armed and dangerous person on or near campus, a major chemical spill or hazard, a tornado sighting or a different emergency determined by the Department of Public safety. The sirens are tested several times a year.
If the department determines a situation is serious but doesn’t warrant sirens, notifications are placed on the Alert Carolina website. The emergency situations committee determines if a text message is necessary.
They will send four different kinds of messages.
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For months, students have questioned the consistency of the University’s emergency notification policies.
The University clarified its emergency warning procedures Friday, responding to confusion surrounding its Sept. 6 sounding of campus sirens because of a tornado warning.
After UNC students learned that Alert Carolina failed to immediately notify students that a woman was raped close to campus in the early morning of Feb. 9, their response was vocal and critical.
The 27-year-old woman who reported being raped near Franklin Street Thursday has asked Chapel Hill Police not to pursue the investigation, according to a Tuesday press release.
The investigation into a rape reported near campus at roughly 2 a.m. Thursday morning has turned up few leads and has left some questioning whether the campus should have been alerted to a potential threat.
When confronted with the most serious of campus emergencies, UNC students and faculty can now turn to a bright yellow sign for help.
Just months after UNC was forced to review its emergency response protocol, East Carolina University now finds itself in a similar predicament — albeit for a different reason.
Less than a week after revising its emergency alert system, the University sounded its sirens for the first time in campus history for something that was not a drill.
A recent arrest for an alleged on-campus rape has highlighted difficulties the University faces when deciding whether it should notify students of a crime.
A “suspicious device” discovered in an Appalachian State University campus building Monday was not a bomb, say campus and town police officials.
University officials are standing by their decision to include the name of a student in an Alert Carolina email after he was arrested for sexual battery. Alert Carolina sent a campuswide email Sept. 12, requesting information about an incident that occurred on the P2P Express early the previous morning.
University officials are hoping revisions to the Alert Carolina emergency response system will restore students’ trust in campus safety. The new emergency notification plan, which was released Thursday, will be split up into three alert categories, said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Winston Crisp.
UNC-CH is not the only school reviewing its campus alert system. Officials at UNC-Wilmington are also investigating their alert system after it failed to notify students of a July 29 shooting. Investigators are working to issue a full report detailing the source of the failure by the end of this week, said Cindy Lawson, a spokeswoman for UNC-W in an email.
In the early hours of April 4, Kate Matthews left her door in Morrison Residence Hall unlocked. Just a few floors away, some of her fellow students were being robbed at gunpoint.
On the morning of April 4, two reported crimes would shake the community’s faith in Alert Carolina. Only one would prove to be true. Just after midnight, five students were robbed at gunpoint inside a suite in Morrison Residence Hall, police said. And a freshman falsely reported that a man severely burned him on the wrist at 3 a.m.
Students recommended that social media play a larger role in the University’s emergency response policy at a meeting Thursday of the Executive Group, a collection of 10 high-ranking administrators charged with reviewing Alert Carolina.