Campus Safety at California Lutheran University is using newly received funds to partner with Alertus Technologies, a company involved in emergency mass notification for larger occupancy facilities, in order to grow and enhance their emergency communications platform.
Director of Campus Safety David Hilke said he expects the new Alertus devices technology will be launched sometime within the next 30 days.
During emergency situations, the Alertus devices will allow Campus Safety to send communications to emergency beacons “that will be strategically located inside of campus buildings. The beacons will have an audible alarm, flashing lights and a message screen. Messages will also be distributed via desktop take over,” Hilke said.
However, there are still some students that are not completely satisfied with the measures implemented by Campus Safety.
Hilke said Campus Safety has protocols to follow when a report of stalking or sexual harassment is filed, starting with making sure that the reporting party is safe. The next step is to gather as much information as possible regarding the incident.
“Depending on the nature of the incident, the reporting party may be provided with the California Lutheran University Sexual Violence Resource Packet and the details of our report will be shared with the Title IX Coordinator or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator,” Hilke said. “With the reporting party’s permission, Campus Safety will help the reporting party contact the local police department that would have jurisdiction over the location of the crime.”
After the initial report is filed, Campus Safety staff members begin to write the report based off of the information they received from the reporting party and form their initial investigation. The time taken to come to a conclusion for reports is unique to each one, as it depends on the category of the report and the time it took for the report to be called in or filed in relationship to the incident.
Around campus there are blue light phones that are meant to be used to contact Campus Safety directly in the event of an emergency. The blue light phones connect once a member of Campus Safety answers the incoming call.
“When a call comes in from a blue light phone, Campus Safety will answer the incoming call and attempt to speak with the person that is making a call, pending that the person stays at the blue light phone. If the officer answers the call and no one is speaking at the time of the call, the officer will go and investigate the area of the blue light phone activation,” Hilke said.
“I have never had to file a report personally, but I have heard mixed things about how they handle reports,” sophomore Julia Barrios said.
Barrios said that although she has never filed a report to Campus Safety, she has called them to be escorted back to her dorm from her night classes.
Hilke said Campus Safety is given an annual budget from the University’s General Revenue Account, and in recent years Campus Safety has seen an increase in the budget.
Shannon Stelzner, a sophomore at Cal Lutheran, said that although it is helpful to have the number to Campus Safety on the back of the ID cards, there needs to be more done about lighting up the campus at night.
“I would feel much safer at night walking around campus if there was brighter and more lighting spread throughout campus,” Stelzner said.