Students have voiced concerns about the UA emergency notification system when no alert was sent after the death of a Fayetteville police officer and a shooting near an apartment complex less than two miles from campus.

Jared Pinkerton, a senior and Associated Student Government president, said after hearing about the two shootings close to campus, he thought that RazALERT might need some improvements.

Both Officer Stephen Carr and London T. Phillips were shot and killed Dec. 7, 2019 after Phillips shot Carr at the Fayetteville Downtown Square.

UA students did not receive a RazAlert notification of the shooting as there was not an active threat to campus, and the shooter was already dead, UA Police Department Capt. Gary Crain said.

Fayetteville Police Department officers responded to a shooting at North Creekside Apartments, which is just under two miles from campus, at 12:51 a.m. on Jan. 8, according to the FPD dispatch log.

A RazALERT notification was not sent out as there was not a direct threat to the campus community, Crain said.

The UA community will be notified of emergencies or dangerous situations with an “immediate threat to the health or safety of students or staff,'' according to the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration.

The UAPD chief, the Dean of Students and the Associate Vice Chancellor for University Relations are the ones to decide whether an event is worthy of sending out a RazALERT, according to the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration.

Pinkerton plans to send out a 37-40 question poll to the UA student population to gauge what issues students care about, one of which will deal with the prospect of extending the RazALERT radius.

“When the question is the radius, that’s not a true understanding of what the policy is. There’s not a radius in it. It’s whether there is a direct threat to the campus community,” UAPD Capt. Gary Crain said.

Once results from the poll come back, Pinkerton thinks he will have direct proof that students want an extended radius for RazALERT. The poll is finished and will hopefully be sent out to students in January, he said.

JD Diloreto-Hill, a doctoral student and the UA Graduate-Professional Student Congress president, discussed RazALERT with the GPSC cabinet on Jan. 14.

Diloreto-Hill plans to reach out to the Dean of Students and prioritize safety issues for the spring semester, he said.

Diloreto-Hill said that graduate students reached out to him when there were shots fired on the Fayetteville Square and they did not receive a RazALERT.

Diloreto-Hill said he thinks RazALERT is pertinent for graduate students because all graduate students live off campus.

Lexi Robertson, a senior and ASG director of safety, will meet with a UAPD representative and the Dean of Students to speak about creating an option for an extended radius RazALERT.

Robertson also plans on doing a full-scale look at requirements to send a RazALERT, she said.

Students, faculty and staff can choose their notification preferences on UAConnect or BASIS for emergency notifications, according to the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration.

Students, staff or faculty members with information warranting an Emergency Notification or a Timely Warning can report it to UAPD.

Miranda Stith is a news editor for the Arkansas Traveler, where she previously worked as a reporter from 2018-2019.

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