University officials maintain strong communication
As journalists, it is essential to have immediate access to imperative information in times of emergency. It is our duty and obligation to inform the public about important developments in times of need, especially when lives can depend on it.
On October 10 at 6:00 a.m., Wilfrid Laurier University was placed on lockdown because of an Internet threat that was suspected to put the lives of students in danger. Throughout the day, we were informed in detail about significant developments through the department of communications, public affairs and marketing at Laurier, the Waterloo Regional Police and Special Constable Services.
As a result, we were able to do our job to the best of our ability, notifying the student body and keeping as many people as possible informed about what was going on.
Never once did we feel out of the know, which is important when working on something as intense and potentially severe as a lockdown.
The university’s SafeHAWK mobile safety application proved useful for students and officials, notifying students when the lockdown was in place, when it was lifted and when the suspect was caught.
Interviews were done in quick timing and access to information was relatively easy given the severity of the event. We were able to report constant developments to students, keeping them aware of what was happening.
We were respected for our work by city and university officials, and were notified immediately about the press conference with president Max Blouw.
Our job and mission will always be to inform and engage the student community, and through the information we were given Friday, we could do this to the best of our abilities.
Such a strong network of communication was and is extremely valuable for our role on campus. Student journalists are the first line of communication when campus emergencies occur.
The exchange of information would not be possible if not for the empowering connections that kept us in the loop.
Our duties will only be carried through if those internal resources continue to give us the disclosure we require. That is the only way we can continue being the tie that binds Wilfrid Laurier University.