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Friday, January 22, 2021

Broadcast emergencies, spread the urgency

Everyone likes to think they’re special, that they’re the exception to the rule. Most believe they’d survive a zombie apocalypse. But what if nobody told you it had started?  

Despite what “The Walking Dead” depicts, such an event is unlikely, but nonetheless, outdoor speakers throughout the campus would work as an emergency broadcast system, as well as keeping the campus informed and entertained.

OK, forget the zombies, that’s not happening right now. But what about a more realistic and unfortunately common emergency.

School shootings are an increasingly frequent occurrence. According to the Everytown for Gun Safety advocacy group, there have been 186 school shootings since Sandy Hook Elementary on Dec. 14, 2012.

We were reminded of this grim reality recently when a man walked into a San Bernardino elementary school’s special-education class and shot and killed his estranged wife, an 8-year old student and himself, as well as injuring another student on April 10.

What happens if a situation like this occurs at Pierce?

In case of an emergency on campus, Pierce sends out mass email and text message alerts. But what about the students and faculty that are already on campus?

While most classrooms have phones, some that don’t even work, not everyone is inside a building. Nearly everyday there are groups congregating around campus at places such as Rocky Young Park, outside of the gym and on The Mall.

A campus-wide emergency broadcast system (EBS) would be a quick and simple means of informing those on campus of the situation, and keeping as many people out of harm’s way as possible.

An EBS would be useful outside of such drastic times as a shooter on campus.

During the Fall 2016 semester, campus lost power in the early evening. As students and faculty filed out of buildings, confusion arose. No one knew what was going on, and whether or not that was it. Once the decision to cancel classes for the rest of the day was made, that information could not have spread across campus all that quickly.

A simple broadcast announcing the closing of the campus would make everyone’s life easier, as long as the system has an emergency power supply.

But what about all those times when there’s not an emergency?

News briefs and other campus updates could be broadcast throughout the day. Important updates, sports results, game previews, events and club promotions could fill the air.

Not only would this keep students and faculty updated on events around campus, but also inform them about resources they might not know of.

There are events on campus throughout the semester that go under-promoted. Flyers and posters around campus, as well as the occasional preview story found in this publication are often the only way the community might be informed.

Broadcasting short 15-30 second promos for events would not only promote the events, but also give radio students useful practice producing these short spots that are so common on commercial radio broadcasts.

Oh, yeah, did you know that Pierce has a radio station?

Broadcasting KPCR would give the students’ shows more exposure, and possibly encourage others to join the program.

Currently, KPCR has the capability to stream their shows and news segments live online. With the added boost from a speaker system, live shows and game broadcasts could be heard on campus.  
It seems like a simple thing. Outdoor speakers can keep this campus safe, informed and entertained, while providing exposure to the groups and resources that go unnoticed.

The Roundup News
The Roundup is the student-run news outlet at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif.

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