For Valentine’s Day, educating students on TU Alerts

The Office of Emergency Management and TSG organized an information table Wednesday about the TU Alert system.

The Office of Emergency Management partnered with Temple Student Government to organize a Valentine’s Day-themed TU Alert information table at the Bell Tower on Wednesday. Organizers offered free cookies, coffee and hot chocolate to students. | IAN WALKER / THE TEMPLE NEWS

On Wednesday, the Office of Emergency Management passed out TU Alerts — in the form of heart-shaped candies.

The office partnered with Temple Student Government to organize a Valentine’s Day-themed information table at the Bell Tower. They passed out materials that clarified common misconceptions about TU Alerts, the university’s campus safety alert system.

Participants played a dice game at the table to answer questions about on-campus emergency situations, like understanding the differences between a lockdown, evacuation and a shelter-in-place drill — like the one held Wednesday morning.

There were also two informational posters outlining the steps of creating and sending out a TU Alert near the table.

The Office of Emergency Management gave away pins and heart-shaped candy during its TU Alert informational event on Wednesday. | IAN WALKER / THE TEMPLE NEWS

While the university only sends TU Alerts about incidents that require immediate action or present an ongoing public safety threat, Sarah Powell, the university’s director of emergency management, said some students expect to receive one anytime Temple Police makes an arrest.

“I think people have kind of an expectation that doesn’t really align with what the purpose of the alerts really are,” Powell said. “People believe that they should get a TU Alert every time there’s police activity involved in anything. And really, the whole key here is that there has to be something that’s an ongoing threat to the community.”

When students complain about the delays in receiving some TU Alerts, Anna Martin thinks they may not really understand the process.

“A lot of people don’t necessarily think about, ‘OK, police has to respond to it, and then send in that response and then we send out the alert,’” said Martin, a junior public health major, who is also an emergency preparedness coordinator for the Office of Emergency Management.

Martin said they hope to improve public understanding of campus safety through awareness events like Wednesday’s information table.

“We just want people to understand [the TU Alert guidelines] and have more of a positive view of the TU Alert system,” Martin said.

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