University issues lockdown during spring break


Jasmin Ruiz, Reporter

During spring break, the University Police Department sent out a Buff Alert to students issuing a lockdown.


The campus-wide lockdown transpired because RCSO advised of an escaped inmate, and for the safety of the students, faculty and staff members, they were not allowed to leave any buildings until the police cleared the campus. The alert was sent out on March 19 at 10:41 a.m., and all buildings were cleared around noon.


“I wasn’t scared,” Layne Garza, freshman Agriculture Education major, said. “I was just worried. I have friends all around campus, and I didn’t want them to get hurt.”


Garza was one of the many students that did not leave during spring break and was in his dorm during the lockdown.

All students at WT have access to Buff Alerts, which are issued during situations such as a lockdown or fire alarm.


When Garza received this message, he and his roommate closed the windows and doors as a safety precautionary measure. Garza said that this is the first time he has experienced a lockdown since he’s been at WT and was a little frustrated that students weren’t provided with any specific rules or guidelines.


“In my head I was not expecting something like this to happen,” Garza said.


This is not the first time that a lockdown has been issued at West Texas A&M University. In the last year, two lockdowns were issued due to robberies. The first one was issued on June 5, 2013 at the Subway restaurant across the street from campus.


The next lockdown was issued in the fall due to a robbery at the Holiday Inn located on 4th Ave.


“The key to everyone’s safety is cooperation,” Shawn Burns, UPD Chief of Police, said. “We ask that students, faculty, and stuff subscribe to buff alert as it’s the most effective and efficient way to get information directly to them.”


Buff alerts can be received via email and text message. The emails are mandatory because WT must comply with State Laws, but text messages can be seen as a faster and more efficient means of communication. Chief Burns said he understands about students concerns about the guidelines that were given in the alert but advises to follow the same rules given in a high school setting. These rules consist of locking the door, turning off the lights and being quiet.


“I consider students’ safety to be the highest priority” Cindy Spencer, Senior Director of Residential Living, said. “The safety of our students is critical, and we can never put convenience over safety.”


In a lockdown setting, dorms are automatically locked, which means that only the students who live there can enter using their key or cards. Residential Living also advises students to watch for Buff Alerts. In addition to these alerts, there are people on staff that perform walk-throughs of the dorms and work with UPD to make sure all the students are safe.



Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every week.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.