Local University Presidents Speaks On Alert System - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Local University Presidents Speaks On Alert System

Dr. Thomas Jones, president of AASU, makes sure his campus is safe from any type of emergency. Dr. Thomas Jones, president of AASU, makes sure his campus is safe from any type of emergency.

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Universities in our area are doing what they can to prevent any school shootings from happening.

"It seems in the last few years post columbine things have gotten more intense," said Armstrong Atlantic State University President Dr. Thomas Jones.

Jones heard about the shootings at Northern Illinois University.

"These things can happen on any campus," said Jones.

And because they do happen, Jones knows the importance of having an emergency plan to protect his university and it's 7,000 plus faculty, staff and students.

Dr. Jones says that in efforts to make sure his campus is prepared for any type of emergency they implemented the early warning system in September of 2006.

"You register your name, a telephone number where you can be reached and your email," said Jones. "As soon as a message is given from authorities on an emergency, that goes out almost immediately to all members of the system."

A system that freshman Patrick Carmichael plans to register for as soon as possible.

"I think it's a good thing to know if something is going on a part of campus because maybe I have a class over there," said Jones.

Seeing students like Patrick understand the importance of this early warning system is encouraging news to Dr. Jones. 70% of his student body has already signed up.

"We're living in some troubled times and I'm not sure what is sparking this violent reaction from individuals," said Jones.

But that's not stopping this university president from planning for the future.

"I think we continue making an investment in our students and our faculty and ensuring an safe environment," he said.

Savannah State University also has an emergency alert system that sends an email or voicemail to the users in the event of an emergency.

Reported by:  David Hall, dhall@wtoc.com

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