“When the University of Akron issued a special edition Zipmail last week, it contained information regarding a student wanted in connection with a shooting. We admit, we were surprised to see it. It was a pleasant surprise, though. For years, the Buchtelite has taken university officials to task, arguing that UA is more concerned with public relations than with safety.””
When the University of Akron issued a special edition Zipmail last week, it contained information regarding a student wanted in connection with a shooting.
We admit, we were surprised to see it.
It was a pleasant surprise, though.
For years, the Buchtelite has taken university officials to task, arguing that UA is more concerned with public relations than with safety.
So when we received this e-mail, we noticed. And we were grateful.
It may have been one of the wisest PR moves we’ve seen, in fact. But it’s a lot more than that.
Some may think that the university didn’t have a choice, that it was required to send out the e-mail.
Well, that’s true. Kind of.
According to the Campus Security Act, schools are required to issue timely warnings regarding crimes that threaten the safety of the campus community.
The e-mail requested your help in locating a part-time student who was a suspect in an off-campus shooting.
One could interpret the Campus Security Act to determine that the situation did not pose a significant threat to the campus community.
In that case, there would be no special edition Zipmail. The campus community would have learned about this situation in the Akron Beacon Journal.
One could also interpret that provision loosely, and err on the side of caution, which is what UA did.
What if this guy showed up to class packing heat? Could the situation have gotten ugly if UAPD confronted him on campus? You bet.
No matter how it was resolved, UA comes out looking like the good guy.
With that special edition Zipmail, UA went a long way in fostering good will between itself and the community.
The university has finally come to terms with the fact that it cannot escape its environment. For all the state-of-the-art facilities and meticulous landscaping, the truth of the matter is that we remain an urban campus.
We are bounded on all sides by parts of the city that are not beautiful. They are marked by poverty and crime. It’s a fact, one that the university has struggled to deal with.
Kudos, UA, for facing this reality, and taking the high road. Students should always be aware of their safety and surroundings.
Now you’ve gone the extra mile to let them know that you place far more importance on their safety than on your image.
Thank you. We appreciate it.