Monday, March 23, there was a disturbance near the Tower dorms here at Eastern Michigan. Lauren Stewart, a junior apparel and textile merchandising major and resident of Hill Hall, was woken up early Monday morning.
“I woke up around 2 a.m. to someone screaming, and yelling, ‘Put the knife down, someone is going to get hurt, someone call 911, help me,’” Stewart said.
At first assuming she was in a dream, Stewart went back to sleep, only to wake up once again around 3 a.m. to the same yelling.
“I called DPS,” Stewart said. “She said she had gotten other calls and put me on hold to call 911. I was so scared, I stayed awake and watched a cop car pull up about 10 minutes later. I didn’t see anyone get out, and they were only there about four minutes.”
After the police left, Stewart said, the screaming stopped, but her question and mine is why didn’t we get a timely warning about this incident? Students of Eastern Michigan University receive timely warnings any time something suspicious happens off-campus. We assume these timely warnings also cover things that happen on-campus, but it’s very rare ever to receive one relating to an on-campus event.
Concerned about my own safety and why I didn’t receive any notification about this incident, I did some research. According to Eastern’s website, we are supposed to be given timely warnings about “suspicious events both on and off campus.”
There is a list of criteria which the event must meet, but what I find interesting is according to the website, “EMU police department personnel will make the decision whether to issue a Timely Warning notice on a case-by-case basis in light of all the factors surrounding a crime…”
Normally, I wouldn’t question the authority of our on-campus police department, but in light of the situation which took place Monday morning, I’ve found myself questioning how often things such as this happen on-campus that we don’t hear about. I understand a victim’s right to anonymity, but I also believe paying students of EMU have a right to know when something like this happens.
Breyyanna Tyson, a sophomore double major in athletic training and psychology, said her faith in the campus security feel compromised.
“My faith in the campus police is definitely not as strong as I thought it was because I feel that withholding information such as this is misleading, therefore I am not able to completely trust the department,” Tyson said.
Feeling that events such as this are being hidden should not be something a college student should worry about. I believe if something suspicious happens on campus, students should be informed. That way, they can use the amenities the campus provides along with their personal judgment in order to make decisions.
“There is no reason logically why there should be no on-campus alert,” Stewart said.