I applaud the NC State University police for working tirelessly to keep our campus safe. However, there are issues that must be addressed. NCSU police issued a safety notice following rumors of a gunman, this alert included information about an incident during which they seized weapons from a student's vehicle. The NCSU police stated that this incident did not meet Clery requirements. But it is the responsibility of campus police to inform campus affiliates of any potential threats, whether the threat has been contained or not.
The Clery alerting requirements are crucial for transparency: ensuring that campus affiliates are aware of patterns of crime and are vigilant in protecting themselves and their community. Clery crimes include weapons law violations, when there is intent for use with in Clery specific geography. Although no direct threats were made by Mr. Dorr, intent for use can be justified on the grounds that multiple weapons and ammunition were found. The individual was not on campus at the time, but we do not know if he was in possession of more weapons other than those found in his car.
Lack of transparency stirred fear among students, as evidenced by social media rumors leading up to the safety notice. More poignantly, the recent events are indicative of a lack of trust in the notification system. It is true that over issuing alerts can weaken the significance of the alert, but there must be a balance between protecting the rights of campus affiliates and ensuring transparency about potential threats impacting their safety. The threat of gun violence is a nationwide concern. Therefore, it should be treated as a priority alert, particularly since it presents a disproportionate threat to minority students.
Youmna Elkamawy is a non-degree studies student in post-baccalaureate studies.