Dear Western Washington University: Your Campus Alert System Is Alarmingly Inconsistent

Dear Western Washington University: Your Campus Alert System Is Alarmingly Inconsistent

The feeling of having to carry your pepper spray around campus is insane.

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Western Washington University uses an alert system called "Western Alerts" to inform students about threatening or harmful acts happening on and near campus. Western sends these alerts via email and text to all students, faculty, and staff members.

These acts range from sexual assault to wind advisory reports. For me and other students I have spoken with, find that the main issue with the alerts this academic year has been the inconsistency. On March 19, 2018, a "Western Alert" was sent out stating, "Police just became aware that authorities are investigating a threat made this morning on social media to 'shoot up' a school. The threat was apparently directed toward a high school in Michigan that has 'Western' in its name."

Even though this alert is prevalent, to a certain extent, in the WWU community, the Western alert system could be used more efficiently and effectively. For example, this past week was the move-out week for students living on campus. There were many students who stored their belongings in their vehicles which lead to a higher rate of vehicle break-ins. My vehicle was one out of many that were broken into last week. To ensure higher standards of safety on campus there could have been a Western alert notifying students that there were vehicle break-ins on campus. An alert could have prevented future break-ins or merely made students think twice about leaving their belongings in their vehicle in plain sight.

Emily Porter, a student at WWU, said:

"The Western alert system is far too relaxed for issues which should be voiced. Such as sexual assault, or general unsafe environment on the Western campus, specifically in the dorms. There have been cases in which the Western alert system should have notified students but failed to do so. It's their job to inform students about dangerous predators surrounding Bellingham and Western yet they only tell us about lewd conduct. However, they fail to notify us about a student on campus in her dorm who was raped."

In addition to inconsistency, students have issues with the lack of updates about the alerts. Once an alert is sent out there is nearly never an update on the issue. This leaves students scared, afraid, and paranoid. Haley Tuckner, a student at WWU, stated:

"The alerts are great, it's nice to know what is happening on campus, but we never know what is done about them if anything is done at all. I think my overall thing is that it's great to send out an alert but the university should let us know what they're doing to make us safer or feel safer."

Western can improve this inconsistency by giving updates on issues and providing more Western alerts that influence students.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Porter

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Second Half Of The Semester Problems, As Told By Michael Scott

"It's happening!!!"
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The second half of spring semester is so bittersweet. The fun of spring break is sadly behind us, but we have the promise of summer to keep us going. We all know this struggle, and apparently, so does Michael Scott from "The Office."

You have absolutely no motivation to do your schoolwork after tasting the freedom of spring break.

Spring break has left you broke as a joke for the rest of the semester.

Your professors expect you to memorize an entire textbook before final exams.

You thought the semester was going extremely well until all of your professors decided to bombard you with assignments all at once.

You pull multiple all-nighters and practically overdose on caffeine just to get your homework done.

You just pretend your homework doesn't exist until you literally can't anymore.

All of your friends are getting into serious relationships but you are still single.

Your professors tell you that there won't be any extra credit opportunities before the semester ends.

All your friends are out having fun and partying when you have a morning class the next day.



When you do finally get to go out, you go a little too hard to make up for lost time.

You and your friends are supposed to be in a study group but you end up just goofing off the whole time instead.

That one annoying student in class reminds the professor that there was homework.

When your professor is still trying to lecture even after your class is supposed to be over.

You realize you only have a few short weeks left until final exams start.

You get a bad grade on an assignment you thought you did well on.

You are almost asleep, but then remember that you had homework due the next morning.

Your classes drag on for what feels like hours when in reality it's only been a few minutes.

You have multiple assignments and projects that start to all blur together by the end of the semester.

You have essays that you have to completely BS because you have no idea what to write about.

Your parents, family members or advisors ask you about your future plans even though you have no idea what to do.

Your professors lecture you on topics that you won't be tested on.

You procrastinate on your homework until the very last minute in hopes of finishing it the day before.

You realize you've been studying for so long you haven't left your house all day.

When exams finally come and you feel totally unprepared.

You start to think of extreme methods to pass your exams instead of just actually studying.

Keep your head up, fellow student. I know it's long and hard, but you will definitely make it through the rest of this semester!

Cover Image Credit: NBC Universal

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13 Thoughts Broadcast Journalism Majors Have When Piecing Together Their First News Story

Quiet on the set.

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So you've decided that you want to be a Broadcast Journalist?

Many different thoughts go through you're while trying to first off figure out what story you want to pursue. After that, it's just a matter of getting everything that is needed for it and then putting it together.

For all clarity and purposes, I have already turned in my first news story, however as I was completing it, some (if not all) of these thoughts (or a variation of them) came across my mind at some point during the process.

1. Ok, so what are the important parts to my story?

book

And how do I convey those things to my viewers?

2. What b-roll should I get?

B-roll is supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot.

3. Do I have all the interviews I need?

interview

Who are the essential figures in this story?

4. What's my angle? How do I stick to it?

camera angle

Who do I need to interview for it?

5. What questions should I ask in my interview?

questions

And more importantly, What type of questions will get me the answers I want?

6. What are the important facts?

facts

Should they all be included?

7. Do my voice overs cover everything that my interviews don't?

interview

What else is needed for this story?

8. Agh, my video is over the 1 minute and 30 seconds allowed time.

ughh

Do I reduce it or do I leave it as is? I guess it depends on how much its over.

9. How should I say my tageline at the end of the video?

tag line

The tagline is when the reporter says their name and their station affiliation at the end of their story.

10. Should I include a standup? Where should it be?

news

What do I want to say?

11. Should I include a graphic?

news graphics

Is there something that can be said in a list form that the viewers need to see? Is it symptoms of a disease? Event details?

12. How do I make my interviews connect with my voice overs?

simple

Does what I am saying make sense?

13. What does my script need to look like?

script

Should I add a NAT pop here? What SOT (Sound on Tape) do I want to use?

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