A wave of emergency notifications hit phones all across the Weber State University campus on Oct. 26 at 10:07 a.m. as a Code Purple alert was delivered to the WSU community.
The message read, “WSU Code Purple. Exercise: This is a Lock Down Drill. Take 3 minutes to think about and discuss what you would do in a real incident. All-clear messages will follow.”
Earlier in the week, students were encouraged to login to their portal and update their contact information, including cell phone, home phone, primary email address and parent or guardian contact information, before the drill took place on Oct. 26.
The Code Purple Emergency Notification System gives the university the ability to communicate health, weather and safety emergencies quickly by text message, email and voice call. Those enrolled in Code Purple will receive these messages regardless of their location.
Junior Kenzie Krause was vacationing in Switzerland when she received the message.
“It is crazy that even though I am in a different country, Weber State was still able to alert me of a potential hazard on campus,” Krause said. “Even though this alert was just a drill, I am grateful that distance is not a factor when it comes to warnings.”
Some students said that they had updated their contact information but did not receive any sort of Code Purple Alert.
Junior Taylor Miller was sitting in a communications class when all of his peers were receiving the message, but he was the odd man out.
“I updated my contact information about a week ago when the alert popped up on my account,” Miller said. “I felt like I was one of the only students in my class that did not receive the alert, even though I did as they asked and updated my information.”
Weber State Alumnus William Peterson received the text message despite having graduated a year ago.
“I am not a student anymore, but I still got multiple text messages,” Peterson said. “I must still be on the list … Living in the Ogden area, I am not opposed to receiving alerts about potential dangers at Weber State.”
After the drill messages were sent out, communications professor Anne Bialowas took a moment with her class to talk about what would need to happen if an actual lock down occurred on campus.
After consulting with other professors, she talked about specific tasks that need to happen with her class, including taking shelter if out in the halls, locking the classroom doors, staying away from windows, staying hidden and staying quiet.
“It is also important to remain six inches away from any wall because there is potential of bullet ricochets,” Bialowas said. “It is also critical for students to scatter throughout the room, instead of clumping together — less risk of mass injury.”
Students who would like to receive messages about weather closures or campus emergencies, one can update their contact information by visiting Weber.edu/CodePurple.
“Although I am graduated, I still have a job on campus,” said alumnae Lydia Oliverson. “I am grateful to be able to receive text messages and phone calls about dangers on campus because Weber State still plays a very important role in my everyday life.”