Follow-up on Mebane Hall incident: Here are steps we have implemented immediately

Categories: Chancellor's Messages

Dear Niner Nation,

I am writing to provide follow-up information regarding the Feb. 1 incident at Mebane Hall, when a false report of gunfire led to a frightening situation for our campus.

The increased police presence and the delayed NinerAlert caused confusion and concern among many in our community, especially those in and around Mebane Hall. I want to acknowledge the emotions this event caused, while also reiterating that at no time was our campus in danger.

Following this event, our Safety and Security team has conducted a thorough assessment, analyzing both strengths and areas for improvement. Additionally, we have carefully considered the feedback we have received from our community to inform our next steps.

Here are steps we have implemented immediately:

  • NinerAlerts
    • What we’re doing: Adding additional, clearer NinerAlert message options for incidents when police are investigating reports of alleged violence on campus.
    • Why we’re taking action: On Feb. 1, although police quickly determined there was no active threat, the significant presence of first responders and the delay in a NinerAlert caused alarm. The delay stemmed from the needed sweep of the rooms in Mebane Hall and efforts to gain more information about the situation to provide accurate information to campus. It is crucial to note that the University was fully equipped to respond operationally and through communication had there been a threat to safety. Moving forward, however, we’ll improve communication by promptly informing the campus about significant police activity, even when there is no threat. The message will say what police are investigating, what you need to do based on the information available at that time, and ask you to be ready to take additional action as needed.
    • How you can help: Make sure you are clear on what all NinerAlert directives mean and what you can do to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Visit the Emergency Management website to review each action: lockdown, seek shelter and evacuate.
  • Review of Cell Phone Numbers
    • What we’re doing: Emergency Management and OneIT are working together to ensure all cell phone numbers in Banner are properly labeled and being pulled into the NinerAlert system.
    • Why we’re taking action: On Feb. 1, we received feedback that some members of the campus community didn’t receive NinerAlert texts. Based on our initial review, it appears that a small amount of cell phone numbers in Banner may not be pulling into the emergency alert system because they are in the incorrect field.
    • How you can help: Make sure your cell phone number is updated with the University by logging into and selecting Banner Self Service. Click on “Personal Information,” under “Phone Number,” make sure there is a field that says “Cellular Phone Number” with your correct number or click on “Add New” in the top right and select “Cellular Phone” to add your number.
  • Lockdown Kit and Classroom Audit
    • What we’re doing: Emergency Management is auditing classrooms on campus to ensure those that do not lock have a lockdown kit with the necessary equipment specific to the room it is in. Additionally, they are verifying classrooms contain the correct emergency safety information.
    • Why we’re taking action: We’ve received reports of incomplete lockdown kits and outdated emergency manuals in classrooms in Mebane Hall and nearby buildings. Emergency Management is auditing these spaces, starting with Mebane Hall and extending to all academic buildings. Please note that lockdown kits are provided only to classrooms without manual locks or those awaiting conversion to automatic locks. Each kit is customized to its respective classroom, so you may not see both a firehose and a door wedge if one of those pieces is not applicable to the doors in the room. Additionally, the University is transitioning all physical locks on classrooms and labs to an automatic lockdown system, and this project is underway.
    • How you can help: Familiarize yourself with the lockdown kit in each classroom you are in and how to use the equipment in the bag. Wedges are for doors that open inwardly, and the firehose is placed over the actuator of doors that open outwardly. If a door that opens inwardly also has an actuator, there may be additional firehose in the bag. Please do not move the lockdown kit from its designated location in the classroom or remove it from the room. If you do not see a lockdown kit in the classroom you are in or believe it may need immediate attention, please complete this form.
  • Mandatory Training
    • What we’re doing: Beginning in fall 2024, there will be mandatory lockdown training for all faculty, staff and students at UNC Charlotte. This will be an online training module, with our in-person active shooter training continuing to be available for those who want it.
    • Why we’re taking action: We heard reports from several members of our community, especially those in Mebane Hall, that they were unsure what to do if there had been gunfire that day. While active shooter training (ALICE) is available and strongly encouraged, training has never been mandatory. To support the safety of our campus, all Niners will be required to complete a yearly online training module with the latest information on best practices and campus protocols.
    • How you can help: Sign up for active shooter (ALICE) training if you have not yet done so. Faculty and staff can register through the Learning and Development portal. Students can contact Deputy Chief Josh Huffman to have an officer come to your student organization. Familiarize yourself with campus lockdown protocols by reviewing the content on this page. Continue to monitor your Charlotte email for more information on the mandatory training.

I want to thank those who have taken time to share thoughtful feedback during this process. If you have any additional feedback or questions, please direct them to Chris Gonyar, director of emergency management, at I also want to thank our Emergency Management and Police Department teams who work hard every day to protect Niner Nation. Working together, we will continue to support a safe campus community.


Sharon L. Gaber