Safety Bulletins need to be sent out more often to make students feel safer


A cellphone displaying a big red breaking news alert encompassing the whole screen.

By Lisa Lillianstrom

When it comes to feeling safe on campus, students want to know what is going on so they can keep an eye out for unsafe situations, which is why safety bulletins are necessary and should be sent out more often.

The NIU Police Department sends bulletins to all students with an NIU email address, but emails have not been sent since before school started in August, due to standards being changed.

However, a lack of notifications doesn’t mean crimes aren’t happening, it only means students are not being made aware.

“We only send out bulletins for clery crimes; they have to meet a certain standard in order to send it out to the students,” Jason John NIU Police Deputy Chief said.

The standards for bulletins to get sent out include emergencies such as an active shooter, whether occurring on or off campus and building evacuations from a fire or explosion.

Besides emergency alerts, students can also get timely warnings for crimes that aren’t an immediate threat to the community but are still important to know.

“If someone got their car broken into, while it is not considered [an] immediate threat, people should still know what is going on so then they take action to keep their personal property safe,” NIU Police Chief Thomas Phillips said.

A main reason alerts haven’t been sent as frequently is because incident are not a threat to students long enough to send out an alert.

“One of the main reasons students haven’t gotten alerts is because there hasn’t been any major crimes that have occurred, and the crimes that have occurred have been resolved with the person getting arrested,” Phillips said.

There should always be a way for students to know what’s going on. More frequent alerts and updates are a simple remedy to this issue.

“If there’s a creepy person around campus who hasn’t been arrested, the rest of campus could be aware of their looks and could be more cautious,” Jay Roby, first year non-profit GMO studies major, said.

Knowing where crimes happen can help student be proactive and aware of potentially dangerous areas. More frequent safety bulletins can provide this information to help students be safer in the DeKalb community.

“The safety bulletins give students an idea of what areas to avoid,” Vince Pazon, junior health sciences major, said.

Safety alerts are not just for students living on campus; commuters should be able to feel safe as well, and no one wants to have to look over their shoulder all the time while walking back to their car, especially at night when people can be most vulnerable.

“If there was a way to get more blue emergency buttons off campus, then I would feel safer walking back to my place,” Roby, who lives in an off-campus apartment, said.

Safety bulletins are important no matter what the crime may be. Knowing what is going on can be the first step to making sure students don’t have to worry every time they are walking home from class in the dark, walking back to their apartment or just walking in general.