The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

EDITORIAL: Inform students, even if it’s redundant

EIU PD Squad Car 42

In a story by The News, one of our reporters explored Alert EIU. 

The alert system is part of a larger system called the Eastern Illinois University Campus Emergency Notification System, which is composed of five different means of communication including written forms of communication, coverage on WEIU TV and radio platforms, a campuswide intercom system and a phone tree. 

On Aug. 15, at around 3 p.m., a message was sent out saying shots were fired at Domino’s Pizza across the street from Old Main. Twelve days later, on Aug. 27 at 1:44 a.m. the University Police Department responded to shots-fired call at Fourth Street and Buchanan Avenue. 

Three shell casings were found at the Millennium Apartments which is less than a quarter mile walk to campus according to the complex’s website. 

No alert was sent out despite the incident being around 800 feet from Old Main. 

In an interview with UPD Police Chief Marisol Gamboa, she said an alert was not necessary for the incident.

In an interview, Gamboa stated the legal requirements for sending an alert notice in an email. “By federal law, EIU is only required to send emergency notifications if the event is currently occurring on or immediately threatening campus and only upon confirmation of the situation,” Gamboa said. 

This lapse in judgment shocked us at The News. With so many fatal shootings happening on college campuses across the country, students are afraid our campus might be next. 

Just a day after the most recent shots-fired incident, a professor was shot and killed at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill. The shooter killed the professor using a 9mm handgun. Students were in hiding for two hours and 40 minutes. 

The shooter near campus used a Glock 27 and hid it in his front sweatshirt pocket. The firearm was concealable and could have been snuck onto campus easily. While no one was reportedly injured, there was certainly potential.

We at The News believe students should have been notified for this incident the same as the Domino’s one was. 

While there may be no legal obligation to send an alert, think about the obligation to the students to keep them informed. 

No matter what is deemed to be a safety risk or not, information is key. Even if there was no active situation, people should have still avoided the area in case a situation was to arise. 

People need to be aware of events that happen even if they are not directly on campus. 

Students deserve to know what is going on even if a situation is deemed safe. Letting students sit in silence instead of notifying us will only cause us to become more anxious about what is potentially happening. Point, blank, period.

The Editorial Board can be reached at 581-2812.

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