Blue Alerts can be annoying, but they’re also extremely valuable. Not only do they announce snow days and other weather-related events, but they keep the campus safe in potentially dangerous situations like last week’s lockdown.
After a drive-by shooting near the school on Wednesday, officials issued a lockdown via Blue Alert.
Blue Alert is the university’s way of alerting the campus of emergency situations and need-to-know information.
“We can’t predict every situation that somebody will be in, but we do believe that we have to give them the knowledge so they’re able to make decisions for themselves,” said Bradd Brown, chief of police.
The lockdown was stressful to some staff, faculty and students, but the fact that Blue Alerts kept providing information made the situation easier to handle. In the about 45 minutes that the university was on lockdown, seven Blue Alert messages were issued with varying information.
The campus community was updated on what the situation was and whether anyone on campus was injured. Once the lockdown was cleared, President Robert Henry sent out an email about the situation. In the email, Henry commended campus police for their work.
Some students said the Blue Alerts were helpful.
“I think they kept us moderately informed,” said Kaleb Ogle, marketing senior. “We kept checking Blue Alerts and whatnot. I ended up just streaming the news, though, so I had a better idea of where and when everything was going on.”
Some didn’t take the Blue Alert seriously, though, instead taking to social media to make jokes about the situation. Although laughing is a good way to relieve stress, an emergency lockdown is no laughing matter.
Students should take Blue Alert messages seriously and follow instructions closely, even when the message says it’s a drill. Furthermore, if students aren’t receiving Blue Alert notifications, they need to sign up for them as soon as possible. If students are signed up but not receiving notifications, the phone number listed might be incorrect.
To sign up or change a number, students can log in to BlueLink and click on “View/Update Blue Alert” in the Home tab, bluelink.okcu.edu. Students will then be prompted to enter a network ID and password. This will sign them up for Blue Alert notifications through phone and email.
So sign up, pay attention and stay alert.