University of Missouri's new emergency alert system not ready for start of semester

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The University of Missouri's campus was bustling Monday with students running off to their first classes of the year. Officials announced a total enrollment of 34,111 students this year with 26,715 undergraduates and 6,138 graduate students.

Students were all over campus, but a new alert system was nowhere to be found.

The electronic emergency beacon systems are being installed in 225 high-traffic areas on campus.

"Right now, we are taking advantage of a new technology, so it takes time to get that new technology up and running and installed on campus," said Christian Basi, the University of Missouri News Bureau's associate director.

The installation process is in full swing, but university officials are still waiting for the arrival of the actual alert systems. Once those come in, they still have to install all 225 of them, which also takes time.

"It's alarming in the event that something should occur, especially since there have been the summer months to prepare," said MU student Collen LaVelle.

School officials said there is no safety concern to students because there are other alert systems available, such as the emergency alerts students receive on their phones and through emails.

"We have many other tools going on right now," said Basi. "We feel very comfortable currently with the safety protocols and tools on campus."

Basi said he expects to see all the beacon systems up and running by the start of next semester.

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