The Marshall County High School shooting in Ky., which occurred Wednesday, Jan. 23, is the 13th mass shooting in 2018. Since 2013, there is a rise in school shootings with one occurring in an average of a week according to Everytown Research. With this knowledge, current and new students of Delta State should be aware of Okra Alert.
Okra Alert is used in emergency situations such as extreme weather, life-threatening incidents on campus, or important immediate changes that affect the entire university. The system is a way for Campus Police to send out information quickly and efficiently to all members of staff and faculty as well as DSU students.
According to DSU’s Timely Warning Policy, if a serious event arises, whether it is on or off campus, “…in the judgment of the DSU Chief of Police, constitutes an ongoing or continuing serious threat, a campus-wide ‘timely warning’ will be issued.”
In the instance of a potential mass shooting such as the shooter who killed Dr. Ethan Schimdt in the fall semester of 2015, the Campus Police Department sends out a message through both email and students’, staff’s, and the faculties’ phone numbers via text message. The DSU police will then coordinate with the Office of Communications and Marketing and posts will be uploaded to DSU’s website and/or the police department website for updates and information.
Students are highly encouraged by DSU and Campus Police to sign up for the Okra Alert text message system. While the system gathers all students’ cell phone numbers (if provided) automatically, they should still go through the process of setting up and confirming their registry to receive alerts. To sign up, students can go to DSU Online Services, click on Personal Information, and then Enroll in Okra Alert.
In the event of a possible crime or any other dangerous situation that occurs on campus, please contact the Campus Police Department at (662)-846-4155.