UCLA officials held a forum Wednesday for community members to voice their concerns and recommendations to a task force created following the June 1 murder-suicide on campus.
About 150 people, mostly faculty and staff, attended the hour-long meeting.
The 26-member Campus Safety Task Force was organized to assess UCLA’s current emergency systems with an emphasis on improving future response, said Stephen Yeazell, the task force chair and a professor at the UCLA School of Law. The team has met six times this summer, with the most recent meeting taking place immediately after the open forum.
Public comments Wednesday focused on training and information as two key components in handling crises like an active shooter situation. Multiple speakers reiterated that there were vague and conflicting messages sent out through BruinAlert. They asked for the task force to recommend that BruinAlerts be sent more frequently and with more detail in the event of an emergency.
Others spoke to the effectiveness of active shooter trainings offered earlier this spring that they either took part in or required their staffs to participate in earlier this spring. Many advocated for UCLA to either “strongly encourage” or require such trainings for staff and faculty.
The task force will complete its recommendations to Chancellor Gene Block within the next couple of weeks, Yeazell said.
Draft recommendations the task force have considered include requiring emergency training sessions for faculty and staff, according to earlier meeting minutes. Some initial recommendations also include making BruinAlert into an opt-out system that would require cell phone numbers, rather than only email. Another was the possibility of a remote control lock system.
The public meeting was held close to the mid-September recommendation deadline so that it could supplement feedback from earlier emails and questionnaires, said Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck. He added he thinks the session was valuable because it helped provide more nuanced information than online sources could.
“It reassures us that the analysis the task force has undertaken is on target with the consensus of the concerns that people have in this room,” Beck said.