Broken blue emergency phones an ongoing issue

The sign “Out of Order” hangs on a few blue light phones at Oakland University.

The blue light phones are police-linked phones anyone on campus can use to call in an emergency. There are 83 of these phones on campus and can be found in the parking decks, buildings and dorms.

“The ones that don’t work, unfortunately, are the ones that are most visible,” Police Chief Mark Gordon said.

The visible ones being the blue light phones found next to sidewalks on campus.   

The reason the lights are not working is simple. They are outdated and need to be updated to a new system. However, updating the system can be expensive. Several hundred thousand dollars, according to Gordon. Funding was approved in late summer and the campus has been tackling small areas to convert the phone lines to the updated system.

For the blue light phones, more of them will be working between now and Christmas.

Seeing the blue light working makes people feel reassured. Another reason why Gordon wants to keep them around.

“Across the country, there is very low use of them,” Gordon said. “People like them, it makes them feel safe because they know it’s a 911 line should they need it.”

However, students feel uneasy with them being off and were upset they were not told about them being out of order.

“[It makes me feel] scared, honestly, not that I think they’re ever used. But still,” said Takkara Griffin, a sophomore living in the dorms.

Although there are very few incidents, OUPD does not want to take out the blue lights, especially when funding has been approved.

For students who would like learn self-defense, OUPD offers the Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D) program.