Security with transparency
Staff Editorial | Friday, April 20, 2007
There are still plenty of questions surrounding what happened Monday at Virginia Tech.
But one thing that isn’t up for discussion is that Notre Dame should have a plan in case the unthinkable happens here.
Which is why University President Father John Jenkins’ e-mail Thursday discussing emergency plans was a welcome – and much needed – announcement for students, faculty and, maybe most of all, parents.
That message didn’t come, however, until days after the shooting – days of wondering and worrying and wanting to know what Notre Dame would do.
Earlier this week, members of the administration and Notre Dame Security/Police were unwilling to comment on the University’s preparedness for such an emergency, leaving students questioning if the plan was fully developed.
But now, Jenkins has reassured the community through an e-mail that, while somewhat vague, promises the University will work to further prepare for anything that may come along.
It’s understandable that Notre Dame would need time to work out certain details before making a plan public. Still, when information of this nature isn’t being released, it’s important to tell people why, instead of generating anxious speculation that no plan exists.
Hopefully, Notre Dame’s plan will eventually include the text-message initiative, one of the few specifics Jenkins included in his e-mail. If implemented, the procedure would go a long way to helping Notre Dame not repeat the delay in warning students that happened in Blacksburg.
While other details of the plan will likely always be kept secret, it’s necessary to be open about all procedures and safety measures that do not compromise security – and open in telling students when information isn’t released due to security concerns.