The University of Colorado Boulder will make a biannual test of the CU Alerts system this Thursday, Sept. 15 at 12:20 p.m., notifying community members through text message, email and certain desktop applications.
The CU Alerts system is part of the university’s compliance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) which requires that CU Boulder must announce most on-campus safety concerns in a timely manner to the university community. This test is a requirement of the Clery Act.
The university is required to disclose safety concerns such as threats of violence, natural disasters and severe weather warnings.
The message delivery infrastructure behind CU Alerts is also used for CU Advisories, which delivers information regarding non-immediate or life-threatening events like campus closures.
CU Alerts only focuses on on-campus threats and concerns. For off-campus threats, the city of Boulder in collaboration with the city of Longmont have set up the Everbridge alert system, which will alert subscribers to city-wide threats.
This focus on on-campus threats alone has been the cause of some concern among CU Boulder students and staff, who have criticized the university’s response times when issuing alerts or for not notifying community members in the event of an off-campus emergency.
“The university has shown a lack of care by providing little to no information about any of these [off-campus] incidents,” read a petition to expand the CU Alerts system to encompass a 2-mile radius around the school following reports of gunshots on University Hill in December of last year.
In response to the petition, CU Boulder recommended using Everbridge and local news for information on off-campus events, and emphasized that “we rely on police, fire departments and other emergency responders…to help keep [our off-campus students] safe”.
No adjustments were made to the CU Alerts system in response to the petition.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Parker Lamb at Parker.Lamb@colorado.edu.