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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

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Greyhound Alerts needs to be more effective

Greyhound Alerts needs to be more effective

This academic year, Loyola has been working to improve the Greyhound Alerts system, which is overseen by the Department of Public Safety. All current students, faculty, and administrators that have a Loyola University Maryland email address receive alerts through email, and can, along with parents, sign up to receive text messages as well.   

According to the University’s website, Loyola switched to this new system to “provide members of the Loyola community with relevant, timely information so they can make decisions and take actions that will ensure their health and safety during an incident.”  

While Loyola praises this new system, it seems to be ineffective. Since the beginning of this academic year, the student body hasn’t received any notifications from the alert system despite the ongoing crime and violent incidents that have been occurring in the Baltimore area daily.  

For instance, on Sept. 9, 2019, Baltimore Police investigated a possible bomb threat in downtown Baltimore, which called for the evacuation of  the area surrounding the Inner Harbor. According to CBS Baltimore, “A four-block radius around 100 East Pratt Street was evacuated and several office and commercial buildings in the area were evacuated — including the T. Rowe Price building, The Gallery, hotels and restaurants in the area.” 

While downtown Baltimore is not within proximity of the university, Loyola and its students are still part of the Baltimore community. The Inner Harbor is a popular area in Baltimore, where a Loyola student could likely spend their time after class. The university should have acknowledged an event this threatening, even if it happened 20 minutes away. By not alerting students of the possible danger, students were not aware to avoid that area. The lack of notice from Loyola is concerning, especially after just reforming its security notification system. 

As a freshman, I know one of my main concerns when arriving on campus was safety, especially attending a university located within a city. Not being familiar with the area of Baltimore yet, fellow students and I expect the university to caution the Loyola community when there is a threat or specific area to be avoided. 

Parents also depend on the Greyhound Alerts system to stay updated with news of threatening incidents that may harm their children. Many are under the impression that they’ll be notified when an emergency has occurred on or near the Loyola campus. 

While a lot of recent crimes, such as this possible bomb threat, have not occurred directly in the neighborhoods surrounding the university or on campus, Loyola is a city campus and students frequently leave  to explore Baltimore. 

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act is a “Federal statute requiring colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs to maintain and disclose campus crime statistics and security information.” 

While Loyola adheres to this federal statute by publishing a log of all crimes that occur on campus or in the surrounding area on the University’s website, reporting crimes after they occur doesn’t help students or faculty make an informed decision in a threatening situation. Thus, Loyola should consider modifying its alerts system to include crime notifications for places that students frequent within Baltimore. 

Due to the ineffectiveness of the Greyhound Alert system, students have reverted to keeping up with surrounding news from other sources: “I have the Citizen app, which lists recent alerts that have occurred nearby, and I see a lot of incidents relating to crime and violence that Loyola hasn’t notified their students about, said Ryan Beauregard ‘23. “Students shouldn’t have to depend on an outside source to warn them of threatening occurrences.” 

While Baltimore City is in the spotlight due to President Trump’s tweets regarding the conditions and crimes of Baltimore, Loyola needs to prioritize the safety of its students. Its main priority should be to alert students to threatening issues and areas to avoid in order to protect students from a harmful situation.

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  • AnonymousOct 29, 2019 at 10:28 pm


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Greyhound Alerts needs to be more effective