Increasing activity on the AlertSU system this Autumn Quarter has led students to point out the ambiguity of text and email updates. One concerned user noted the vagueness of “sexual battery” warnings, explaining, “batteries get charged…theoretically, there is nothing stopping a battery from becoming sexually charged.  It’s inherently confusing.” Students of the natural sciences lodged similar complaints concerning accounts of “physical assault,” confusing them with damage caused by material energy.

This is not a problem exclusively facing students of the ‘sciences’ either. Many cat-enthusiasts and prospective big-game hunters have spent hours wandering outdoors following reports of “prowling incidents.” In addition, “suspicious circumstances” have only excited conspiracy theorists, and the more studious subscribers regularly experience anxiety regarding “test announcements.”

For further clarification, it should be noted that “fire safety reports” are actually warnings to users, not reports as to the personal safety of a given fire. “Attempted burglaries” are negligible, because they obviously aren’t very good.

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