Claire Hogg, News Writer • email@example.com
Photo by Robins McIntosh
With the construction of new residence halls in the Village region of campus, Emory & Henry’s campus police department has installed emergency blue light phones in the area.
There are now two emergency blue light phones outside the apartment complexes in the Village that allow students to stand under a well-lit pole and have an option to immediately alert both 911 and Campus Police in the event of a physical emergency.
After unofficial student reports of serial stalking, many students have been reevaluating their safety on campus at night.
“In light of recent events with strange people wandering around the campus, I feel a little less safe than normal, but I still feel relatively safe,” sophomore Emily Trice said.
By adding these blue light emergency phones, Campus Police aims to make students feel more comfortable, however, there are no blue light phones elsewhere on campus.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Student Success and Dean of Inclusion John Holloway said he wasn’t sure why phones had not been installed outside the Village.
Holloway said, “I can only imagine that there would have to be plans to put them on campus as well. I can’t speak directly to it but I would imagine that that would be something that would be important to campus as well.”
The emergency phones are easy to operate and perform tasks quickly.
“If you push the red button, it dials 911 and it goes to Washington County Dispatch. That’s for emergencies,” said Jerry O’Dell, Lead Investigator of Campus Police. “For non-emergencies, you push the black button and you get a dial tone.”
Kaelee Belletto, a junior and an RA in the Village, finds that the addition of more emergency phones is a good change.
“I definitely think it’s a more positive step. I think it seems like the administration is very receptive to the idea of them and I think that it’s certainly going the right direction, but I definitely think there are probably more steps . . . we might work towards in terms of safety for students,” Belletto said.
O’Dell also urges students to download the app LiveSafe for times when they may be out of reach for the emergency phones.
On the app, students have the ability to request that one of their friends receive updates as they walk across campus and, like the blue phones, the option to quickly contact 911 or campus police.
“It’s GPS-driven and they can literally watch your dot walk to the location and if you don’t get to your location in a reasonable time, they can check on you or call us,” O’Dell said.