Stark campus officials react to recent safety situations

Maura Zurick

With the help of technology, Kent State is able to warn students if there is a bomb threat or another emergency on campus.

Cynthia Williams, public relations coordinator at Kent State Stark, said the university does its best to keep students informed during any emergency, especially a bomb threat.

“We encourage students to look on the KSU website for alerts and updates,” Williams said. “We also highly recommend that all students at every campus sign up for Flash ALERTS. Kent State Stark also tweets and posts alerts on our Facebook page. Our Facebook page has a lot of important information posted if there is an emergency on campus.”

Williams said because of the recent bomb threats at Stark State College, it’s good to have a way to easily contact students. She said Kent State Stark has an audible announcement system in the Main Hall. In the other buildings, they have an alarm system.

Kent State main campus has an audible announcement system in all buildings, Williams said.

If there is an emergency, professors are aware of all the close exits to help students leave the building in an orderly way. A security team and safety officials will assist students and faculty to ensure safe evacuations.

“Some of our faculty and staff, including myself, participated in the A.L.I.C.E. program (which stand for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) where we learned what to do in an emergency situation — like if a shooter was on campus,” Williams said. “The program really taught us how to react during any emergency situation, not just a shooter. It showed us how to not freeze and evaluate situations.”

Diana Tsenekos, coordinator for emergency planning and security at Stark State College, declined to make any comments in reference to bomb threats at this time.

Roy Christian, director of Campus Environment and Operations at the Kent campus, said Kent State’s emergency notification system is very efficient.

“If students receive notification via text, e-mail or on the Kent site that there is a bomb threat, then they should remove themselves from that building and go back to a residence hall,” Christian said. “Commuter students should go to the Student Center. The notification will always say the specific building of the bomb threat.”

Christian said if the bomb threat occurs in the building a student is in currently, then the student needs to get out quickly but safely. Safety officers would be there to help and send people to a secure place. Christian said it would be the same situation if a bomb threat occurred in a residence hall.

According to the Kent State Police Department’s Safety Guide, if a person receives a bomb threat, they need to be alert, calm and report any information they have. The safety guide said students and faculty should not evacuate unless police and safety officials authorize it.

“We take every threat very seriously, and we always evacuate. It’s similar to a fire alarm,” Christian said. “Bomb threats are longer than a fire alarm situation because specialists come in to search and check for bombs. Campus police and security will be there to make sure everyone is safe.”

Contact Maura Zurick at [email protected].