Vague Alerts Provoke Confusion Among Students Following a Motor Vehicle Accident

Corner of South Campus and 322 Rowan Blvd outside of Hawthorn Hall. - Multimedia Editor / Lee Kotzen

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, Rowan Alert and Rowan Advisory sent out multiple messages, both via text and email, regarding a motor vehicle accident that occurred on 322 Rowan Blvd.

The first message came from Rowan Alert at 1:32 p.m., via text.

“Please avoid the area of 322 on the campus as police are working on a motor vehicle crash with injuries, an advisory will follow when the area is clear,” the message read.

As students were advised to avoid the area, the entire boulevard was completely closed off to students, faculty, and staff until further notice — causing a lot of backup traffic. 

At 1:40 p.m., Rowan Advisory sent out an email to students regarding the motor vehicle accident.

“Rt. 322 in the campus area between Girard Rd. and the Rowan Traffic Circle is closed for a motor vehicle crash with injuries. Please avoid this area, advisory will follow when the area is clear,” the email said.

The latter message was more detailed compared to the first message sent from Rowan Alert.

A final message was sent out to students from Rowan Alert at 2:17 p.m.

“Accident has been cleared. Mullica Hill Road (Rt. 322) is now open for traffic,” the message read.

Many Rowan students complained that the messages from both Rowan Alert and Rowan Advisory were vague. The lack of information caused a lot of confusion among students. 

Morgan Rossi is a senior biochemistry major at Rowan University. She commutes to Rowan every day.  

“Getting these alerts is always so stressful. We never know what we can do to resolve the situation and I always feel more confused and uninformed after receiving these messages. The message about the recent accident on 322 seemed very extreme. I was afraid for the safety of my peers because I didn’t know who was involved or how many people it had affected,” Rossi said. 

The accident did not involve multiple parties or cars, as many students believed. 

Instead, a motorcyclist had steered off the curb, hitting a pedestrian crossing pole. The pole ended up falling down. No individuals were harmed except for the motorcyclist. 

The individual involved in the accident was a Rowan student who remains unidentified.

All that is clear is that the student is in stable condition with a leg injury.

Motor vehicle accidents are common among college students and young drivers. 

According to the CDC, “The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among teens aged 16–19 than among any other age group.” 

The CDC also explains that there are certain groups within this category that are even more likely to get into a motor vehicle accident. The list includes males, teens driving with young adult passengers, and newly licensed teens.  

As of now, there are no other follow-up reports regarding the student and their injuries.

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