More than 60,000 people are currently registered within the Carolina Alert system. The University of South Carolina's emergency notification program is designed to give faculty, students, and parents notifications and updates on any campus crimes and emergencies.
No alerts have been issued in the past two months, and some users are wondering if campus is just that safe, or if the school simply isn't using the system.
USC sophomore Anne Jacob is one of those who are skeptical, as she has personal experience of the system not being used.
"I turned around, and there was this 30-year old man with his cell phone under my dress," she said. Jacob called campus police, but no alert was sent out because they decided the man wasn't an immediate threat to the rest of the student body.
USCPD Community Relations Captain Eric Grabski says that they're prepared to use the system, but the alerts are only used in cases they think are a danger to everyone on campus.
"Every incident that happens that we become aware of whether it’s on campus or around campus, we make sure that we check that off," he explained. "Is this something that is going to immediately effect the community, and if it is we want to get that information out there right away. If not, we may send a tweet, post it on Facebook, on our RSS feed, and do that."
A recent study conducted by Safewise named South Carolina as the third safest school in the South, indicating that those "imminent threats" are few and far between. Still, students have raised concerns over crimes like Jacob's that they hear about on campus, but aren't notified about.
"Well, last semester there was a period where it seemed like we were getting a new Carolina Alert every day and that was kind of scary," said USC junior Erin Hardee. "Now we aren’t getting any at all, and I don’t know if that’s because there’s nothing going on or if they just aren’t telling us, and that’s just as scary."
"Just because you’re not getting a text doesn’t mean that the system’s not working," Grabski explained. "It just means that an incident hasn’t shown itself to alert the community. We do know that our statistics show our major crimes, meaning crimes against persons or violent crimes are down. Even our burglaries on campus are down."
Although the system hasn't been used in two months, Grabski insists people will get an alert if and when a imminent threat does come up.