Campus Safety Wary of Excessive Email Alerts

Elizabeth Czapski | The PHOENIXThe Campus Safety office on Granville Avenue is one of several on or near the Lake Shore Campus (LSC).

Loyola students receive emails from Campus Safety about crimes that occur on or near campus, although those emails do not come as often as they could.

Campus Safety is selective about which crimes it alerts students about, The PHOENIX reported in its coverage of the “Let’s Talk Safety” forum held on Sept. 28.

When it comes to sending crime alert emails, Campus Safety refers to the Clery Act, a guideline for universities about how to share information about crime on campus.

“We are guided by the Clery Act, but also issue alerts for significant threats that occur outside the Clery Act requirements,” stated Sgt. Tim Cunningham in an email to The Phoenix. “All crimes Campus Safety is aware of are considered for notifications through the lens of campus community safety, Clery requirements, investigative process and Clery guidelines.”

Campus Safety is concerned that students will not take crime alerts seriously if they are bombarded with them.

“Too many crime alerts could lead to students starting to ignore the messages,” stated Cunningham. “This is why we do not send out emails for every single incident on campus and is why we follow the [Clery Act] guidelines.”

One Loyola student, who wished to remain anonymous, was the victim of an attempted robbery on Aug. 28 near the intersection of Sheridan Road and Albion Avenue.

The student was leaving Bellarmine Hall when two men approached and asked for money. The men then grabbed the student’s bag and began to hit the student. The student said the men fled when another person came around the corner and witnessed the attack. The student reported the incident to the Chicago Police Department the same day and reported it to Campus Safety the following day.

The only crime alert Campus Safety sent out in August involved a homicide near the intersection of Devon and Hoyne avenues on Aug. 6, according to the Campus Safety crime alert website. However, one attempted strong-armed robbery was reported on that date, and another was reported the day after, according to Campus Safety police logs.

“I really don’t have any complaints about how [Campus Safety] dealt with me personally,” said the student who reported the Aug. 28 incident, calling Campus Safety “really great and really helpful.”

Many of that student’s friends, though, were upset they did not receive a crime alert email about the incident, according to the student. Campus Safety might have decided not to send an email because the student reported the incident to Campus Safety the day after it happened — after originally calling the Chicago Police Department, the student said.

“It didn’t really irk me at all, but a lot of my friends who were … trying to advocate for me got really angry,” the student said.

Loyola student Maggie Holtz, 18, said she sees both sides of the issue.

“I feel like [only sending out crime alerts for certain incidents] almost … [sends] a message that your crime happened, but it’s not as important for us to broadcast as [another] person’s crime,” said the first-year nursing major. “At the same time, [Campus Safety officers] probably don’t want to desensitize us and they probably don’t want to be bombarding us all the time.”
David D’Angelo, a 20-year-old junior at Loyola, said he pays close attention to emails from Campus Safety.

“I know I look at every single email I get from Campus Safety [and] at least read it through just to see what it says, and … people I know also take those seriously, so I don’t think they go overlooked,” said the finance and business information systems major.

Rachel Kubacha, 21, said she understands Campus Safety’s hesitation about sending too many crime alert emails, but she still questions the decision.

“It makes sense why they wouldn’t constantly be updating us, because that is obnoxious and unnecessary,” the senior political science major said. “But it’s not a good message to send to the entire public of the school that only certain people’s crimes matter, because [to] what point does that escalate?”

(Visited 72 times, 1 visits today)
Next Story