Charles Nailen/The Hoya Director of Housing Operations Bob Robinson leads the Town Hall Meeting addressing the university’s response system in the case of an emergency situation.

The university administration introduced its Emergency anagement Plan, a multidimensional, unilateral response to potential threats and emergency situations, at the Town Hall eeting in ICC Auditorium on Monday.

The Emergency Management Plan addresses a range of crises by defining the roles and responsibilities of university departments as well as their relationships with District and federal agencies that may provide support, should the need arise. The Basic Plan serves as the core of the EMT and serves as a systematic approach for departments to respond to, recover from and mitigate the impact of disaster. Administrators continually reiterated, however, that the objective of the Town Hall Meeting was to present a broad overview of the EMP rather than to release any specifics due to security concerns that too much information be revealed and public panic might ensue.

The presentation served as an introduction to administrators, general policy and the flow of communication. One of the few actual implications of the plan that was released was the development of a campus alert system. A steam whistle with a two-mile sound radius will be set off in the event of an emergency, signaling students and faculty to stay indoors, close all windows, turn off all ventilation and procure any emergency equipment available. The system has not yet been fully activated due to minor management issues. The administration hopes to test the system within the next eight to 10 days.

Furthermore, a Building and Floor Marshall Program has already been instituted. Active administrators within specific residence halls have been trained to help lead those on their floor/hall in the event of a crisis.

Director of Housing Operations Bob Robinson led the meeting and presented the EMP. An audience of about 30 listened as Robinson presented the Basic Plan and introduced key executives.

Robinson emphasized that administration developed the plan through intense debate and thoughtful deliberation. “While we can’t reveal everything, a lot has happened,” he said. Due to the federal government’s recent increase in the national alert system to a code orange, the second highest level of alert, they have been taking the necessary precautions. “We took quite a bit of time in debating what to do if the state declared a code red,” Robinson explained.

The EMP recognizes 5 types of an emergency: Level 1 – Isolated (i.e. automobile accident), Level 2 – Developing Incident (i.e. tornado), Level 3 – Immediate Threat (i.e. bomb threat), Level 4 – Campus Wide (i.e. hostage situation) and Level 5 -Regional Emergency (i.e. Sept. 11).

In general, the EMP coordinates and unifies all university policy in response to any such emergency. More specifically, it establishes the responsibilities of every department, on-campus and abroad; organizes the flow of authority and intradepartmental communication; lists personnel equipment, faculty resources and supplies; requires follow-through mitigation and focuses on the continuous protection of the community. Fourteen Emergency Support Teams are each assigned specific duties in fulfilling the EMP.

The enactment of the plan begins when the Department of Public Safety recognizes a situation and notifies the Senior Administrator On-Call, SAOC. (For situations abroad, the Office of International Programs will initiate the enactment of the plan, continuing to follow a similar pattern of an on-campus situation.) The SAOC administrator must be experienced in dealing with a variety of departments. There are a total of 5 SAOCs who rotate once a week and must be on call 24 hours a day during their shifts. The SAOC coordinates Level 1-3 crises.

Once a state of emergency has been declared, the SAOC will deploy the corresponding ESTs. The ESTs categories are Academic Affairs, University Information Services, Facilities and Student Housing, Finance, Planning, Mass Care, Health and Medical Services, Hazardous Materials, Auxiliary Services, Utilities Management, Law Enforcement, Public Affairs, Transportation and International Affairs. The Health and Medical Services EST, for example, would assess medical need, coordinate medical attention and provide health information for an emergency in which the SAOC deployed them.

Robinson continued to explain what the ERP dictates in the event of Level 4 or 5 emergencies. The Campus Incident Management System will be enacted to ensure complete efficiency by delegating tasks to specific administrative bodies on the University Executive Committee. University President John J. DeGioia possesses absolute authority, but relies on the coordination and expertise of the committee. It is comprised of the President, Provost, Senior Vice President, Executive Vice President and Dean of the Law Center, Executive Vice President for Health Services, Vice President and General Counsel, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs, Vice President and Treasurer, GUSA President and other senior administrators selected at the President’s discretion.

The Vice President of University Safety will administer emergency planning under the direction of the President. Emergency Operation Centers will be located in New South Hall (primary) and Healy Hall (secondary).

While lines of authority may be clearly drawn, the image of what an emergency response will look like is not as definite. “We all like to deal in absolutes, but sometimes it’s just not possible when our safety is concerned,” Robinson concluded.

Speakers continued to include presentations from the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, the Student Counseling Center and Campus inistry, providing information about accessibility to sources of emotional and spiritual support for both students and faculty.

Finally, Gloria Lacap, representing the Office of Public Affairs and the Director of Protocol, provided information regarding university communication. Students and faculty should, in the event of an emergency, call the inclement weather line for updates, check the university homepage, personal e-mail and Audix messages, watch local news stations, remain in contact with Building and Floor arshals and listen for the campus alert system.

Spiros Dimolitsas, Senior Vice President, concluded that the future policy of campus security depends on the future of world affairs.

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