SMU Students Question College's Response To Crane Saga

Colleges and UniversitiesSouthern Methodist University

At Pokey O's ice cream shop near Southern Methodist University Tuesday, it was back to normal and back to business.

“It could have been a big loss. It's hard to say. We would have much have rather kept our doors open,” said Pokey O's general manager Ryan Alexander.

These businesses near the campus were forced to close for most of Monday, as a man was held up in a crane for 15 hours.

Police have identified him as 44-year-old, Lee Dell Thomas. He eventually fell 150 feet to his death.

"Obviously it was an unfortunate outcome. No of us wanted it to end that way. But we have to try and resolve things the best way we can,” said Dallas Police Chief Thomas Lawrence.

Today, many SMU students continued to question the college's response.

"I know a lot of students that worked on campus, that worked in the dorms and things like that didn't know about the situation, we're never told by a building manager, were never told by anyone what was going on,” said SMU student Jonathan Machemehl.

Machemehl says it took SMU 4 hours to finally send out a tweet. Many say a mass notification should have been sent.

"Maybe the webmail or text message. They had text during the tornado, so that would have been helpful too,” said SMU student Iriana Bogdanova.

"It just feels like we're being left out of the loop and they're trying to cover up things and trying to shield it from us,” said Machemehl.

Today, the university addressed those concerns.

"We moved immediately to notify those in the affected area. The focus of our attention, because this was a contained threat was to those who would most likely be in harm’s way, and so this was not a mass notification,” said SMU VP External Affairs Brad Cheves.

But others are just happy the situation ended with no bystanders being hurt.

"I could have been a lot worse, indeed,” said Alexander.

SMU says it will review its response and construction site security.

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