The last Thursday of October concluded Colgate’s first string of emergency preparedness trainings. The mandatory one hour lectures, held throughout that month, were aimed at informing and preparing students for a variety of emergencies that could arise on campus. While the trainings were well attended, a handful of students missed the trainings and are now sought after in Colgate’s ever-evolving plan to have all students ready and knowing in a time of crisis.
“We’re aware that although there have been printed safety material given to the students, [we should] give students more direct and specific background and training so they can have a higher level of preparedness,” Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Scott Brown said.
Brown, along with various other administration, staff and faculty members, are part of Colgate’s Crisis Management Team who meet every other week to discuss ways of making the campus safer for all.
“Colgate has always done a lot to be a very safe campus and the next step in that has been really stepping up the Crisis Management Team,” Brown said. “It’s basically all the people you really want around a table in case any variety of emergency should come to pass.”
The emergency preparedness workshop came as a result of hours of organization and training of Colgate personnel. Members of the team, including Brown, have even participated in workshops across the country on campus safety issues. On campus and in the community, the team has looked at where the safe zones are and how to respond to mass casualty incidents. They have also trained personnel to assist in marshalling students in the event of an incident.
October’s trainings were well attended, with the bulk of the student population participating. However, Brown estimates that about 400 students have yet to take the course and says that they will face some sort of disciplinary consequence. They are also expected to take the training in January when another series of lectures will occur. Brown states that at this point it is not certain how often all students will be required to take the workshop.
“There has been a massive amount of resources that have been invested in terms of trying to make Colgate a safer campus for students and we’re trying to make it as easy as possible for students to participate,” Brown said.
The Crisis Management Team’s efforts have been a proactive and ever evolving process. This semester they introduced to the campus the InformaCast emergency system. By taking control of anything that has an IP address, computers, TV’s, and phones, the school will be able to send out messages to the community if the need arises. The system is meant to complement the E2 Campus Safety system which was designed to send emails and text messages as a way to alert students. The E2 system was already implemented last year and the team urges all students to apply on the Colgate portal.
“We want to have overlap as much as possible, Brown said of the systems. “That’s a big part; having a good amount of coverage in terms of communicating with the community.”
The trainings have served as a way to introduce the student body into the measures taken by the administration. The topics covered in just that hour only grazed the surface of the mass of information students should be armed with in order to respond appropriately in emergency events. The Crisis Management team thus intends to continue meeting and developing its agenda to ensure Colgate stays a safe place to both live and learn.