Fri. Jan 28th, 2022

After a series of malfunctions with the emergency phones on campus, a committee will be in place in order to evaluate the system’s current conditions.Chief of Police Michael Bicking, director of Public Safety at WCU, said the pressing problem regarding the efficiency of the system does not concern the equipment itself, but the failure of dial tones from the phones.

Employees of Verizon are able to amend these problems, but the security of the dial tone working correctly afterward is not guaranteed, Bicking said.

In short, malfunctions can occur even after the phones have been fixed.

Additionally, the emergency phones are checked twice a month, essentially every 10-14 days, according to Bicking. In November 2007.

The Quad sat down with a fourth-year student who, after an attack was made upon her, was unable to connect to public safety due to failure of the dial tone.

Furthermore, the committee will be comprised of Bicking, another public safety employee, selected students, Steve Laverty, director of Communication Infrastructure Services and Greg Cuprak, executive director of Facilities Management on campus. The objectives of the committee involve evaluating the holistic picture-looking at the campus globally.

Second-year student Elizabeth Nole, the Student Government senator for Public safety who is actually a part of the committee, said it is a good response because we have so many safety alerts,” Nole said.

“[The question is] do we have enough phones?” Bicking said. “[We need to] determine where we are.”

The committee will address the equipment itself by evaluating if the system for communicating voice needs to be replaced. Furthermore, the phones will be evaluated based upon their compatibility with an IP voice over the system. Michael Viring, deputy director of Public Safety, said that it will utilize a digital signal to convey voice. Some phones have not been replaced since their installment, which according to Bicking, was in the late 1980s. However, phones have been replaced each year he said.

When the committee has gathered data based upon their findings, the committee will then propose possible solutions to Mark Mixner, vice president of Administration and Finance.

The security measures already in place on campus aside from the emergency phone system are 180 cameras located on certain buildings and parking lots that are constantly moving and adjusting at various angles to attain an accurate and sufficient view of the areas. Additionally, e-mail alerts are frequently delivered to the WCU community to increase “awareness” Bicking said.

This “comprehensive working committee,” that will entail a technical staff, according to Bicking, will look at every phone.

Nicole Fortuna is a second-year student majoring in English with a concentration in Romantic languages. She can be reached at QuadEIC@wcupa.edu.

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