U.S. colleges need to work quickly to upgrade their policies on emergency notification, response, and evacuation. The efforts are driven at least in part by the federal College Opportunity and Affordability Act, which was signed into law Aug. 14.

The legislation followed a rash of school shootings, most tragically including the April 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech, where 32 people were shot and killed. But except in terms of volume, Virginia Tech's tragedy wasn't unique.

Last September, for example, two Delaware State University students were shot near a campus dining hall, and authorities scrambled to keep students in their dorms and tell


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