Last week, rumors were circulating that a man in a green van was terrorizing certain neighborhoods with a machine gun and a sawed-off shotgun.
Some students who were following the news on their phones or laptops were alarmed, primarily because the coverage was so scattered – some sources claimed that he was roaming around Central High School while others claimed he was elsewhere.
However, for emergencies on Missouri Western’s campus, students have the Griffon Alert system.
“(Griffon Alert) is an emergency notification system that we’ve set up campus-wide to notify the entire campus community of the immediate dangerous or potentially dangerous situations,” Risk Manager Tim Kissock said.
Griffon Alert is utilized through a variety of components in order to ensure that students are aware of any emergencies at hand.
“There are what we call beacons – those are those yellow boxes placed in the hallways around campus – that activate, and a message goes out,” Kissock said. “There’s an audio message and a written message that goes over that. We also have text messaging, we have PA systems that activate throughout campus. We send out emails and we have flashing white lights that go off on the inside of campus, and our closed-circuit cable TV activates the message also.”
Kissock also explained that the hard-line phones in the classrooms have messages that alert students as well.
Furthermore, Griffon Alert is not used to send out notices regarding other departments and their events.
“We do not send out notices about athletic events; those are done through other channels,” Kissock said. “The only things that go out over the Griffon Alert system are messages that require some sort of immediate action – like an active shooter, tornado warning, bomb threat – something that requires people to do something,” Kissock said. “The only non-critical, emergency message that goes out on the Griffon Alert system is if we’re closing campus due to a weather-related issue.”
Students are introduced to Griffon Alert as early as Griffon Edge, and are encouraged to sign up for emails and texts on the police page on Missouri Western’s website. There is also a video on the Griffon Alert page to inform students on how the notification system works.
“I think it’s very important, because the life that they save could be their own.,” Kissock said. “You know, getting information to people is probably the best thing that we can do. If the alarm goes off, we want people to take it seriously, because we don’t do unannounced tests. If that thing goes off, people need to pay attention to it.”