Timeliness of MasonAlert questioned

MasonAlert has recently come under criticism for what some say is a slow response. (Liz Mgilligan)

The MasonAlert system has come under scrutiny by the Mason community after people received texts and emails regarding recent emergency situations on campus about an hour after the incidents were first reported.

When a gas leak occurred next to Lecture Hall on Oct. 6 police received the call for the gas main break at 11:09 a.m. but some people did not receive a MasonAlert until almost an hour later.

“I got the text at 12:02…” said Kim Largen, an assistant professor with the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at Mason. Largen was lecturing at Krug Hall, near Lecture Hall, and said she was evacuated from the building at about 11:18 a.m. by a person she believes was a fireman.

The clarity of the MasonAlert messages has also come into question. When Student Union Building II was evacuated after a hazmat incident Oct. 19, an initial MasonAlert stated that there was a “police investigation at Student Union” and requested that people stay away from “Student Union.” There are two Student Union buildings at GMU, I and II, and about 20 minutes after the initial notice another MasonAlert clarified that there was a hazmat incident at Student Union II.

Read full story at Broadside Online.


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