Fear & Campus Alerts

Wall Street Journal – “Recent Crimes Put Rutgers on Edge — “Students said they didn’t receive an email or text-message alert from Rutgers after Mr. McCaw’s death, though the annual campus-security and fire-safety report says such an alert will be sent “in the event that a crime occurs, either on or near campus…that constitutes a threat.” “Any information we got came from the media,” said Jacob Nieman, a Rutgers junior. “There wasn’t a concern for safety here. Someone was killed in an area we thought was safe. There’s shell shock.”

A Rutgers spokesman declined to address why an alert wasn’t sent following Mr. McCaw’s death, but said decisions about when to send an alert are generally based on factors such as “the type of crime, where it occurred, whether there is a continuing risk to the campus, and if there is a potential for compromising the investigation.”

Reactions have escalated in recent weeks. A petition on the website change.org that says it was written by the “Rutgers Student Body” has garnered more than 2,000 signatures from people identifying themselves as students, faculty, alumni, staff and parents.

The petition, addressed to Rutgers President Robert Barchi, urges the university to “email Rutgers community regarding…McCaw’s murder and develop a cohesive crime alert system and strategic safety plan between” the school’s police force and the New Brunswick Police Department…”

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