Emergency blue phones temporarily out of use

Isabel Hope, Assistant News Editor

UPDATE Wednesday, July 14 The emergency blue phones on the Quad are in service. Shane Dorrill, UA assistant director of communications, said weather was to blame for the repairs. 

“The heavy rain in June caused those phones to stop working properly,” Dorrill said. “They were covered and taken out of service until [the telecommunications department] was able to resolve the problem.”

The Office of Information Technology’s Telecommunications Department is upgrading the emergency blue phones on the Quad. The devices, which connect users to UAPD in an emergency, have been temporarily covered until upgrades are completed. 

UA Director of Communications Deidre Stalnaker said the upgrade aims to improve their “functionality and reliability for many years to come,” but she was unable to provide a timeline for the project. 

“The phones have been wrapped so that they will not be used while they are being upgraded,” Stalnaker said. 

There are more than 150 blue phones on campus according to the 2020 Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report. A complete map of blue phones on the UA campus can be found here

In 2013, The Crimson White reported that other schools in the Southeastern Conference were abandoning the blue phone model. While many SEC schools opted for other safety measures, the University increased the number of blue phones on campus. 

Schools that had abandoned the model by 2013 cited the proliferation of cell phones, which provide more convenient access to campus police departments for most students. 

Students who need immediate emergency assistance while on the Quad are being urged to call 911 or UAPD at (205) 348-5454.