President Denise Trauth authorized the implementation of a Rapid Response Team at the start of the 2017 fall semester to manage communication about incidents that occur on campus. Recently, students have been critiquing the timeliness of alerts.
Primarily comprised of members of the president’s cabinet along with other relative parties such as UPD, the Rapid Response Team was created to offer insight on how to better communicate important information to the university community.
Students typically receive emails from the university in the event of a crime, natural disaster, construction complications and other potentially hazardous events. Within the past week, however, text messages disclosing the potential for three bomb threats and one shooter threat proliferated through social media before the university had a chance to disclose all pertinent information.
Many students are calling the university’s warnings vague and untimely.
Alexander Vogt, theater junior, criticized the university on Twitter.
“@txst why are you trying to keep these threats secret? How about you cancel class until you find the perpetrator. Students are panicked.”
Stevie Brizendine, elementary education sophomore, also criticized the timeliness of the university emails.
“I’d love if my school would notify me of a threat of a shooter on campus instead of having to find out through a GroupMe #txst”
Matt Flores, university spokesperson, said the team was a primary initiative of Trauth’s at the beginning of the academic year.
“In her assessment speech at the beginning of the academic year, she had said the university had a goal of becoming better or improving its communication with the internal university community and has made that a priority,” Flores said. “We’ve enlisted the aid of an outside communications company to help us identify those areas where we could be more responsive in terms of our communications.”
In a campus-wide email by Trauth Nov. 1, she stated due to the nature of the ongoing investigation, the university is constrained in how much information can be released.
“I recognize that in some instances social media postings are disseminated faster than official university communications, but we strive to distribute information about evolving incidents as quickly as possible,” Trauth said. “Our continued goal is to share appropriate information with the university community in a timely manner.”