Opinion: The case of the missing BroncoAlerts

public safety operations
Elise Ledesma | The Arbiter
This article was written by an anonymous guest author, who is a student at Boise State University.

Where have all the BroncoAlerts gone?

No, not the ones that tell us about a mystery gas leak in a building near campus. Instead, I’m asking about the BroncoAlerts reporting cases of sexual assault on campus. 

Last semester and many semesters prior, we always received notifications about the plethora of sexual assault allegations that have happened on or around campus, usually involving one or more Boise State students. 

For the most part, as I recall, when a text or email was sent out regarding sexual assault on campus, it was handled in a timely manner. Now, I’m not so sure. 

By this time last year, we would have seen at least 10 or more alerts from BroncoAlert regarding cases of sexual assault. We are well into October and I have yet to see one safety related alert. 

The RaveGuardian app is available for students to download to send anonymous tips or photos to the Department of Public Safety. However, that is not enough. It should not be up to us to maintain our safety at all times, but rather the officers who are being paid to watch over us and keep us safe in our community. 

I have emailed the Department of Public Safety about the disappearance of these BroncoAlerts and nothing was heard from the other side. Ironically, two alerts were sent out via BroncoAlert soon after those emails were sent, but the topic of discussion was merely a gas leak in a nearby building. 

Last year, Boise State’s president Dr. Marlene Tromp and the administration renewed their $2 million contract with the Boise Police Department. This stirred up some controversy in itself, but for my own security, I wanted to make sure that I, along with my fellow peers, felt safe walking to and from classes at any time of day. 

Students now have the option to opt-out of receiving BroncoAlerts via text message or email, but I chose not to select that option, for I want to remain up-to-date on what is happening on and around campus. Regardless of whether or not I opted in or not, I still have yet to receive an alert that isn’t about a gas leak or a possible structure fire. 

public safety operations
[Photo of the Public Safety Operations office.]
Elise Ledesma | The Arbiter

I have not felt the way I anticipated since returning back to school. Maybe it’s because I’m not on campus as much as I was when I was a freshman, or maybe it’s because I’m missing the patrol times of the Boise Police Department. Regardless of which scenario it might be, I have not seen many patrol cars on or around campus which makes me question the purpose of the contract renewal. 

This brings up a few concerns for me. What is the Boise Police Department doing during university hours? Do they handle the sexual assault cases on campus, or is that up to Campus Security?  

Optimism fills my head, thinking there may not be as many sexual assault allegations as years prior, but I cannot help but think that there’s something missing. Not that I don’t have faith in my student body, but with incoming students, there’s almost always some sort of miscommunication between different social groups of students, whether it be in Greek life or extracurricular clubs. Why have we only heard about possible fires, evacuations or gas leaks within buildings? 

For the sake of myself and my student body, both returning and incoming, I’m calling to action the ones who run the BroncoAlert system and Boise Police Department to provide some answers. 

Students’ safety should be a priority, not a to-do list item.

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