A safety newsletter for faculty and staff

 

October, 2012

Introduction

Welcome to the first issue of the IWU Safety Pin!

As campus safety issues become more complex within higher education, we recognize the need to increase our regular communication with faculty and staff.

A quarterly Safety Pin allows us to pinpoint current safety issues on campus, in our community, and within higher education. We hope you take a few minutes to read this new resource to keep yourself informed about our emergency preparedness and resources.

We hope that campus crisis is rare. However, we know that recent local and national activity heightens awareness and provides us with an opportunity to remind staff and faculty about procedures.

As always, if you see anything that creates a campus safety concern, please contact Security (556-3111) or 911 (if an emergency).


University Bomb Threats

Over the past month, several campuses across the country (University of Texas, North Dakota State) have experienced bomb threats, which prompts us to inform you of the protocol should our campus receive such a threat.

1. If we receive a threat, you will be notified by IWUAlert message and email to evacuate the building (if identified) or the campus (if a general threat). A fire alarm may also be activated if the building is known.

2. Bloomington Police will then investigate and provide an all-clear.

3. An IWUAlert will be sent to notify the community that you are free to return to campus. A notice will also be posted on our www.iwu.edu home page.

If you receive a call or notice about a threat, please try to get as much information as you can about the bomb and the caller and then call Security (556-1111).

• Bomb description, location, motive/reasoning for the threat

• Time of the call; phone line where call was received; if caller ID, the phone number used

• Any personal characteristics of the caller: gender, speech pattern, accent, background noise

The research regarding bombs is interesting and gives some peace of mind in the event of a bomb threat. "In general, published research demonstrates little to no correlation between a threatening communication and a subsequent act of violence in cases involving anonymous threats." (FBI white paper, September, 2012)

Regardless, we will take all threats seriously.



Active Shooter

Lessons Learned from Normal Community

Given the "active shooter" activity in our local community school, we would like to take this opportunity to share a video regarding safety responses recommended by Homeland Security to an active shooter.

Our campus protocol is as follows:

1. If an active shooter is present, you will be notified by IWUAlert message of the issue and area of concern. In accordance with the guidance in the video, you should either evacuate (if that can be done safely) or secure your location.

2. Bloomington Police will be responsible for all instructions once they arrive on the scene. Any additional updates will be provided via IWUAlert and email.

3. An IWUAlert will notify the campus community when the crisis is under control. A notice will also be posted on our www.iwu.edu home page.

One of the lessons we learned from Normal Community recently is that high quality communication to families was a critical element of their response. In a campus crisis, your families are important to us. Please use the IWUAlert system to include your partner's cell phone number so he/she may also receive alerts when you do.

We will post announcements to our website to keep the community informed. Depending on the situation, we will also activate a call center to respond to questions and concerns.

Testing

In compliance with federal requirements as well as our own commitment to quality emergency preparedness, we are testing our communication efforts and conducting table top drills regarding common emergency risks.

On Monday, Sept. 24, the Emergency Response Team conducted a table top exercise on power outages on campus which was informative and very helpful in our planning efforts.

On Thursday, Sept. 27, we tested the IWUAlert system. If you did not receive a message, please go to myIWU and review your IWUAlert settings.


Campus Hotspots

Thefts near CNS Dance Studio Area

For the past 9 months, we have been experiencing thefts of personal belongings left outside the dance studios in the basement of CNS.

Physical Plant installed some lockers in that area in the hopes that students would secure their belongings in those lockers, with personally provided locks. Unfortunately, students continue to leave their belongings unattended in the hallway.

If you are in that area, please encourage students to be smart and secure their belongings. Sometimes we all need a reminder not to tempt a thief with an easy target.


The IWU Safety Pin is a new electronic newsletter from Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Karla Carney-Hall, chair of the Emergency Response Team.