There are some changes happening at Brigham Young University’s Idaho campus. The school will be taking out the blue emergency phones.
The phones have been around for a while.
“These phones were installed in the 90s and back in the day when our students didn’t have cell phones. Nearly every single one of our students has a cell phone, and when there’s an emergency you’re much more likely to grab your cell phone and place the call than you would to the nearest emergency phone because you may not know where the emergency phone is and they’re stationary so they may not be where the emergency is,” says Brett Crandall, University Relations.
And Crandall says they haven’t been getting much use.
“In ten or so years, we’ve only seen one or two calls on them, and they have to do with medical emergencies. And again, if there was a medical emergency you’re going to be more prone to call on your cell phone or find the closest person that you can.”
The students we spoke to seem to agree.
“I honestly haven’t even noticed them on campus anyway and so I’m not affected by it. I think if I was ever in the case that I needed an emergency phone I could ask anyone on campus or use my own,” says Cece Bell.
“I’ve noticed them on campus but I’ve never seen anyone even use them. I was told they didn’t even work to begin with,” says B Nissinen.
“When I first got here it was a little bit of a comfort knowing they were here in different areas. But then I thought about it and I was wondering how would security get to me before something bad if I was actually running away from something,” says Margaret Dimmitt.
The school says instead of using money to maintain the phones they will be investing in other safety measures.
“We can retrofit doors in older buildings on campus. The doors can lock on the inside so if there was an active shooter in the hallway they couldn’t get in because you could lock it from inside,” says Crandall.
They also have a system that alerts students on campus via phone if there is an emergency, and they say security actively patrols the campus.