WMU to hold town hall on safety notification guidelines, questions

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A town hall meeting will be held at 7 p.m. tonight in the Bernhard Center's East Ballroom so Western Michigan University can respond to questions about its emergency notification guidelines as well as seek additional input from the campus community about them.

The special forum was set up following the deadly shootings in the broader Kalamazoo area Saturday, Feb. 20. It is being held in partnership with the Western Student Association and will be streamed live at mediasite.wmich.edu/Mediasite/Catalog/catalogs/wmuforum. The town hall in its entirety will be available at the same site for 10 days after the event.

Saturday's shootings led to many members of the WMU community asking why the University did not issue a WMU Alert to let students and employees know about the unfolding tragedy.

WMU President John M. Dunn in a statement he issued to the campus community Sunday, Feb. 21, acknowledged the need to review the WMU Alert system, which complies with the federal Clery Act in warning members of the University community of the existence of a credible threat to the campus and the people on it.

Joining Dunn as part of the town hall panel will be Diane Anderson, vice president for student affairs; Jan Van Der Kley, vice president for business and finance; Scott Merlo, director of the Department of Public Safety; and others.

In his message to the campus community, Dunn laid out difficult issues surrounding the events of Saturday night.

"Two of the three incidents happened miles from the campus, and while these incidents were not linked until very late in the timeline, we need to make adjustments in our own procedures to respond to extraordinary circumstances," Dunn wrote.

"Last night's incident clearly was one. We are looking carefully at our guidelines and the possibility of developing a public safety advisory covering a broader array of public safety issues. We're also exploring more effective ways to use social media."