What is UW’s emergency procedure?

Laurier was put on lockdown due to a possible threat last Friday. It was all over social media and local news. Crime Stoppers, the local police, and even the FBI were involved. People were told to stay away, and those who were on campus were led out. This lockdown occurred very early in the day, around 7 a.m., I believe, but Laurier was on reading week, so not a lot of people were on campus anyway.</p>

This incident was big news amongst the students on UW’s campus. The university sent out a small Facebook post saying they were keeping an eye on the situation, but otherwise, not much was done on their part. I don’t have classes on Friday so I’m not aware of whether profs were talking about it in class. 

The University of Waterloo has a bit of an infamous history regarding closing its doors. Everyone was up in arms a few years ago when it was minus 40 and classes were still running, or when there was that huge snowstorm and Laurier was closed but UW wasn’t. But then there was that time a few years ago when the university was closed because of a heavy snowfall. 

What is the protocol for stopping classes? What is UW’s emergency plan? 

I’ve been told that should there be an emergency situation, the university will send out a mass text to students and faculty. Okay, but what if the university doesn’t have my cell number? As far as I’m aware, it’s not part of registration, or Learn, and not a default thing on Quest. I believe the university has my cell number, but only because I inputted it on JobMine, and I’m not even in co-op anymore! So what about the regular-stream students? 

What if there was a fire at one of the buildings? Yes, obviously if you are outside on campus and you see a fire, you will run from it. But what if I’m on the bottom floor of RCH? I get no reception, so a text won’t reach me. The university might post something on their website or Learn, but I don’t regularly check those during class. Maybe they’ll post something on Facebook, but what if I don’t follow their page? 

Unlike high school, university is not one building, so pulling the fire alarm in B2 will likely only affect B1, B2, ESC, and possibly the Physics building since those buildings are interconnected. Is there a siren that will ring across campus? Will campus police make rounds to the buildings for evacuation? 

These are some serious questions that the university hasn’t addressed, at least not that I’ve seen, and the answers could save lives. 


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