Northwestern provides emergency communication updates following Clark Street Beach shooting


Daily file photo by Angeli Mittal

The University is conducting a review of campus buildings that were difficult to lock during the Clark Street Beach shooting.

Joanna Hou, Campus Editor

Content warning: This story contains mentions of gun violence and death. 

Northwestern is reviewing its safety protocols and making adjustments to them following the Clark Street Beach shooting on April 12, according to a Friday news release. The shooting, which took place near the border of the Evanston Campus’ South Campus, raised questions about the University’s emergency response procedures. 

Students and other NU community members criticized the University for its response time to the shooting. The University issued a shelter-in-place order more than 30 minutes after Evanston Police Department first responded to shots fired. About an hour into the lockdown, students received a phone call that said, “University Police are responding to a report of a blank on the Evanston campus at blank.” Administrators later confirmed this message was sent in error. 

According to the release, the University has developed new templated messages that are “easier and quicker” to send out in the wake of an emergency. These protocols will allow NU to send an initial message to community members “quickly” while administrators work to collect more detailed information for follow-up messages. 

“The shooting highlighted the complexity of such situations, in which information — and subsequent communications — can change in real time, which often creates challenges in balancing the speed and accuracy of communications,” the release said. 

NU is also conducting a review of campus buildings, specifically ones with doors that were “difficult or confusing” to lock during the shooting. Some buildings on the Evanston Campus now require Wildcard access, according to the release. 

The University recommends students, faculty and staff verify and update emergency messaging contact information on CAESAR or MyHR. NU community members can enroll in AlertNU, the emergency notification system, by texting “AlertNU” to 226787. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @joannah_11

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