Simmons students should receive timely alerts regarding safety concerns in the local Fenway neighborhood via text message.
Personal safety is a concern for students living in an urban environment, especially for female students who sometimes travel alone. Earlier this semester, a Northeastern University female student was grabbed and pulled into a nearby alley adjacent to Wentworth Institute of Technology and Huntington Ave.
From the local news, we learned this incident occurred in the early morning hours. The Simmons community did not learn of the incident until 3:09 p.m. in an email from Sean Collins, Simmons chief of police.
Even though we did receive notice of the incident, its timeliness is not sufficient. Many students from Simmons frequent this area, as all the COF schools are in our backyard. One of us could’ve been a target and potentially walked into a compromised situation.
A student from the class of 2016 expressed concern during a personal interview with, “I don’t understand why students at Wentworth and nearby colleges get notice immediately, where we have to wait hours for an email. We should get the same text message system they do.
I shouldn’t have to hear about incidents through the grapevine or from my friends forwarding me their messages. We are all students in the same area, and we should all be made aware.”
I received a response from Collins regarding some of my questions about the Northeastern assault and how Simmons and other neighboring schools handled the situation.
He assured, “We utilize the Rave Emergency Notification System as do the other Colleges of the Fenway. Had the assault taken place on or adjacent to our campus, we would have sent a timely warning via text and email.”
“Each day, we monitor the surrounding police frequencies, share emails, receive alerts from the greater Boston area, receive crime bulletins from Boston Police, etc. We alert our community based upon an analysis of this information and the potential that it could impact Simmons,” he added.
“In the case of this particular assault, we issued an advisory when we were made aware of the details of the assault and due to the fact that members of our community may frequent the area,” said Collins.
Collins also directed me to the recent release of the 2013 Security and Fire Safety Report outlines public safety’s efforts and initiatives. The full document can be found online.
Public Safety does take concern about our safety and well being, but some procedures moving forward could be adjusted. Criteria for what is deemed an immediate threat to our students and community should be reevaluated.
It can be argued that some situations are not suitable to relay to the community, but major ones that could directly impact student and faculty during commutes or campus should be addressed as promptly as possible.
We have the software to alert via text message, why not utilize it more frequently and effectively? We should not be learning of incidents through other schools security systems. We should strengthen our own and make it a comforting component for our community.
If personal safety is as important as Simmons stresses to us, then why not take all appropriate measures to ensure this.