Reality struck again Thursday evening.
And it struck hard.
With all of the fancy bells and whistles Temple has added to campus in recent year, it’s almost too easy for students to forget that this is still North Philadelphia.
But Thursday night’s assault was a devastating reminder of what can happen if you fall into a complacent mind state.
A 22-year-old female student was sexually assaulted in the hallway of Anderson Hall at about 7 p.m. by a clean-shaven, dark-haired white male, city police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore said.
Fortunately, Temple instituted a new emergency notification service last week that is designed to inform all students and faculty members of any dangerous situations that may occur on campus.
Well, it’s about time.
Look, there have been plenty of high-profile incidents at several schools across the nation in the past couple of years. It’s simply astonishing that Temple hasn’t instituted a system like this prior to this month. The recent shootings at Virginia Tech and Delaware State must have sped up the administration’s process of selecting a system that would help inform students of catastrophic situations.
The emergency notification e-mail that was sent out to Temple students and faculty members Thursday night was an OK attempt at improving this situation. But, realistically, how many students actually opened the e-mail? The general consensus is that most students ignore most Temple e-mails, whether they are from the administration, departments or organizations, simply because they receive so much e-mail from the university that they don’t differentiate which ones are actually important.
Furthermore, how exactly is this system going to work? Granted, a sexual assault is an important incident for the Temple community to know about, but where exactly do you draw the line? Will the system inform the university of every single crime that occurs on campus? And what exactly justifies itself as an emergency?
Obviously, there are a lot of questions that still need to be answered. But Temple deserves credit for at least taking a step in the right direction.
It’s fantastic that Temple is continuing to establish a safer environment for its students and faculty. But this new system is far from sufficient in its current state.
We hope the administration will continue to tweak the system and pursue more options that will keep members of the university well-informed about what happens on campus.
It’s about time that everyone has a better idea, anyway.