Since the 2007 killings, universities nationwide have developed improved emergency alert measures to keep the campus community safe in the face of danger—or even potential danger. These alerts notify students , faculty and staff with just the click of the button and have the potential to even lock down a campus should a gunman or other danger be present. Emergency alert systems are also useful in the event of severe weather. When a devastating tornado hit Tuscaloosa, Alabama in April 2011, the school was able to send severe weather updates to students through its system.
The Virginia Tech killings rocked the Hokie community—and the nation—and brought colleges and universities together to create improved safety measures for students. A college campus should be a place for learning and creativity. Students should feel safe in that community. If any lesson was learned following the Virginia Tech massacre, it was that schools must remain hyper-vigilant to keep its students and faculty safe. The improvements in emergency alerts are a step in that direction, but colleges and universities must continue to refine these systems to maximize safety.
Today, though, we remember and honor those who were killed on April 16, 2007.