The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

Modifying Norse Alert

December 5, 2016

Although an all-clear was issued via email following the incident, university officials received some criticism from the campus community for not issuing a Norse Alert, a system the university uses to quickly notify campus in the event of an emergency.

Gaffin said emergency response procedures have drastically changed since the September 2015 incident.

NKU Police Department has since made changes to the Norse Alert, according to Gaffin. The alerts are now required to include location details, status of the situation and continual updates until the situation is resolved.

“We needed to recognize the kind of anxiety that would arise as a result of not communicating to the community,” Gaffin said. “The community wants to see more proactive communication.”

Gaffin said OSU sent out text messages periodically throughout the attack, and he said the NKU Police Department has modified the Norse Alert to provide updates until the situation at hand is resolved.

“We’ve really worked on our communicating,” Gaffin said. “Norse Alert is a great outlet for us.”

Gaffin said anyone can sign up to receive the Norse Alert through NKU’s app, which has a safety subsection that links to the signup page and helpful tips.

Derek Daley
Gaffin said anyone can sign up to receive the Norse Alert through NKU’s app, which has a safety subsection that links to the signup page and helpful tips.

The alert, which can be received through a text message, phone call or email, has 17,600 contacts as of February 2016, an increase of nearly 7,000 people since December 2013.

Anyone can sign up for the Norse Alert, including non-NKU students, by going to http://norsealert.nku.edu/ and entering a cell phone number or email.  

“Our goal now is to reach everyone we can,” Gaffin said. “Even if they aren’t students or faculty.”

People can also sign up through NKU’s app on a safety subsection with a Norse Alert button, which links to the signup page and helpful tips.

“The information was always there,” Gaffin said. “We had to bring it to the front instead of people having to dig layers deep into the website to see that info.”

In addition to updating emergency alerts, the NKU Police Department annually reviews all emergency response policies and procedures.

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