by Paige Asberry
Staff Writer

When there’s an emergency, or something goes wrong, people want communication. People want to know how to handle the situation and the best ways to keep themselves safe.

On Feb. 12, Hutchinson Community College received a bomb threat before 10 am. The college has an emergency text alert system, specifically for situations like this, but this go around, the texts were not a reliable source of information. Students and staff received them out of order, hours late, or did not even get them at all.

Lindsborg freshman Gabriel Gadde was in the welding shop off campus during the threat and did not get the text.

“No one is gonna come in here and blow up the weld shop, but this is need-to-know information,” Gadde said. “If there’s a real situation, like a shooting, people need to know.”

Coffeyville freshman Snowden Davis did not receive any of the alerts either.

“That’s when a lot of rumors went around that they were locking the building, and two or three hours later is not good,” Davis said. “There’s a lot of time for rumors to grow ridiculous in that time span.”

Director of Marketing and Public Relations Denny Stoecklein said that it’s possible that people who didn’t receive the messages don’t subscribe to the service.

“The text alert system at HutchCC requires users to opt-in to receive these messages,” Stoecklein said. “Thus, the first question for someone who says they didn’t receive it would be for them to confirm in DragonZone they have opted in.”

For students that have opted in and did not receive any of the messages, Stoecklein says that they should contact the IT Help Desk in Lockman Hall for further assistance.

HutchCC president Carter File acknowledged in a Friday email that changes need to be made. “This episode exposed areas for improvement, namely in our current emergency notification system,” File wrote in the email. “While text alerts were promptly issued, there were delays, some of them significant, in the amount of time it took for those to be received.  This is a priority that we will address sooner rather than later.”

In the same email, File encourages everyone to help themselves be better prepared for situations like this by reviewing the Campus Emergency Plan, which is located in DragonZone, under Resources/DragonDocs/Handbooks.

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