Emergency protocol requires updated contact information

Hansook Oh

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The CSUN Police Department provides emergency protocols on their website for students, faculty and staff, called the “Emergency Desk Reference.”

It includes a recommended procedure for emergency situations such as earthquakes, fires, bomb threats, seeing suspicious objects and encountering active shooters.

According to the reference for students, the first responsibility in “emergency management and preparedness” is to make sure one’s contact information is up to date in the web portal.

This includes students’ email addresses and phone numbers, which the police department uses to contact students during an emergency such as one caused by the possible presence of a gun or gun activity on campus.

Senior Tanya Carmona, CTVA student, said that she received email alerts and voice messages, as well as instruction from her professor yesterday. Carmona did not know she could receive text messages, but felt safe during the day.

“The police department was doing an excellent job of keeping us safe at all times,” said Carmona.

Other students did not think those updates were timely enough.

Psychology major Alina Valdez said she was informed via Facebook by a friend who was evacuated from the library more than an hour before the first alert went out.

“Obviously it doesn’t matter, it’s not important because (CSUN PD) are not letting us know ahead of time,” Valdez said. “I think the (notifications) freaked people out unnecessarily, because they’re sending us messages without real information.”

Valdez thinks the university should provide more emergency training for students, as many are not aware of or have not read the Emergency Desk Reference.

“I feel like (the school) should find better ways of getting that information to students because I don’t think anyone really opens their emails.”

Although the desk reference includes protocol for bomb threats or an active shooter, there is no specific protocol for a suspected gun threat.