Blue Light Emergency Phones arrive at the Greek cottages

Dean Vaglia , Staff Reporter

A former dark spot of Oakland University Police Department (OUPD) coverage will illuminate starting this fall semester as new blue light emergency phones have been installed at the Greek cottages off of Adams Road.

According to OUPD Chief of Police Mark Gordon, each of the five cottages will be getting their own blue light phones attached to the wall of the front of each house. The phones were set up at the request of the occupants, and while they have since been attached to the cottages, they still require some programing to work.

“There was a concern that the cottages were too isolated from main campus and occupants didn’t have the means to dial 911,” Gordon said. “Residents of the cottages requested this feature late last academic year, and the university was able to fund the equipment.”

For sorority members living in the cottages, the phones are a welcome addition.

“The new blue light emergency phones at the Greek cottages give such a piece of mind to those of us living there,” Alpha Sigma Tau President Hannah Barton said. “I’m glad to see OU taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all their students regardless of where they live on campus.”

Barton believes that the new phones will largely benefit those who are involved with the Greek cottages.

“Knowing that our voices can be heard and that we can spark a change just paves the way for us to continue to move forward,” Barton said.

The blue light phones dotted around the campus are direct 911 lines to the OUPD, allowing people without phones or in urgent need of support, a fast lane to receive help from the OUPD. This is different from calling 911 through a normal landline or cell phone, which go out to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office before being transferred to the OUPD. Despite this direct line, the OUPD receives more transfer calls than blue light calls according to Gordon.  

There are over 100 blue light emergency phones dotted across campus in places such as the north end of the Elliott Tower plaza, the south end of the footbridge between P1, the Human Health Building and Vandenberg Hall. Aside from police emergencies and crimes-in-progress, students and faculty are encouraged to use the emergency phones in case of other emergencies, such as fires and injuries needing immediate attention.  

Response times, according to the OUPD website, are often around 90 seconds.

Emergency phones will also be going up around the new Hillcrest Hall.

Aside from being able to call for help, 12 of the phones on campus are connected to the Oakland County Homeland Security’s outdoor warning siren system. This allows for students and faculty on campus to be well-informed of any incoming severe weather.  

For any questions regarding the blue light emergency phones or campus security, email [email protected]. For a detailed list of police phone numbers, visit the OUPD’s “Contact Us” page, and as always, call or text 911 in case of an emergency on campus.