Alert Carolina. Oh, what a dramatic system we have here. For those who are unfamiliar with Alert Carolina, it is the emergency alert system for students and faculty. Alerts range from tornado warnings to armed suspect on campus (lock your doors and windows) to updates on crime in the Chapel Hill area.
The topic that I am focusing on today though is an Alert Carolina that we received Saturday morning at 7:04 a.m. that read,
“At approximately 11:18 p.m. on Fri., March 24, UNC Department of Public Safety Police officers responded to the report of a male individual who was unclothed and acting erratically on the third floor of Lewis Residence Hall on the UNC Campus. The male suspect, a Lewis Dorm resident, had entered another resident’s room and had reportedly sexually assaulted a female. Police arrived to find the suspect in the hall, where he continued to act erratically and resisted arrest. Officers tased the suspect and brought him into custody.
The suspect, UNC student Charles Talmadge, 21, has been charged with breaking and entering, resist/obstruct/delay of arrest, assault on law enforcement officers, vandalism, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The investigation is ongoing.”
Waking up to that email and reading his massive pile of charges, I knew that I was going to have a better day than someone at least, that’s for sure. But seriously, I was surprised, shocked actually, that they would send out that campus wide notification of this manner regarding this incident.
First, this person is a fellow student, and although I don’t know him, many on this campus do. Because he was already in custody, he was no threat or danger to anyone. Sure, I agree the informative message of a brief recap should be sent out to our student population, but an entire record of his arrests AND his name?
My friends and I were surprised that UNC decided to send out his name on the Alert Carolina email. I know because he is an adult, by law you are legally allowed to publish names of those who have committed crimes, and I believe that his name should be reported in the local news stations, but I feel like it didn’t need to be included in the campus-wide listserv.
Of course, there were an abundant amount of jokes made on social media sites, like Twitter and the new anonymous site Yik Yak, talking about him in a negatively joking manner, as expected in a college town. Sure, I know that many would have found out his name simply by looking at the WRAL headlines, but it would have been more difficult than reading it in an email in your inbox. It would have spared far more embarrassment for him and his family as well, seeing as some Alert Carolina messages are also sent to parents.
Yes, he got what he deserved after doing those illegal actions. But, did Alert Carolina really need to name-drop him?