In light of the violent incidents that have occurred on college campuses, security has become an even greater priority at colleges and universities. Security enhancements can be expensive, so colleges are looking for federal financial help to offset these costs.
Safety and security experts believe advanced alert systems, for example text messaging, is critical to providing rapid warning to alert students of imminent threats on campus.
Bills have recently been approved in both houses of Congress which would provide federal matching funds for colleges and universities to purchase emergency communication infrastructure or enhanced safety training. These items are incorporated into a larger bill addressing the postsecondary education law, which is currently being discussed in Congress.
Given the recent tragedies at University of North Carolina, Northern Illinois University, and Virginia Tech University, campus security is a extremely visible issue, and obviously of the utmost importance to the public. However, there has been frustration among colleges and security proponents at how long it has taken Congress to approve these measures. There is a chance that Congress could take action by April. Unfortunately, any funding would not be available until next year, since the dollars would have to be approved by the congressional budget committees and signed into law by the Whitehouse.