UALR ALERT! | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

UALR ALERT!

Posted By on Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 11:12 AM

UALR has demonstrated sufficiently to me that it has a pretty good campus alert system, if students choose to sign up for it.

Today, UALR announces still more improvements. Students, faculty and staff can now program six numbers to receive emergency notifications. Meemaw, Peepaw, Uncle Buck, Aunt Sophie, the kid next door and the student's nail technician can now receive instant notification, too, when a perhaps isolated incident occurs on the sprawling campus so all concerned can worry whether the student they love is involved in something terrible. Is technology great or what?

UALR NEWS RELEASE

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (March 5, 2008) – UALR is offering students, faculty, and staff an option to register up to six telephone numbers they want called in the event of a campus emergency.

Chief Information Officer Jeannie Winston, who directs UALR’s  Computer Services, said anyone with a University-issued ID number – known as “T” number – can log onto the UALR’s internal web system Banner Online Self Service (BOSS) and register up to six telephone numbers they want called in the event the University issues a voice alert notification of an emergency.

Winston said BOSS already collects student, faculty, and staff personal information. The new feature will allow members of the campus community to register telephone numbers – which may be different from the “in case of emergency” numbers BOSS already collects.

“The new feature in BOSS allows you to add contact information that will be used in the event of a campus emergency,” Winston said in an all-campus e-mail message urging everyone to update their contact information. “You may add up to six phone numbers in this alert system that will call your phone numbers with a recorded emergency message.”

Winston’s office was able to acquire computer coding that vastly expands the alert system’s calling ability. She said she hopes to be able to announce another alert option next week.

UALR Campus Police, which tested the new computerized AlertXpress system the week of Feb. 18, used the alert system for the first time the following week on Feb. 27 after a shooting occurred on campus. Three separate alert messages were sent to 2,856 telephone numbers in the system, beginning at 2:29 p.m. after the 911 call was received by the Department of Public Safety at 2:20 p.m. AlertXpress allows the University to create and deliver large-scale notifications to people and businesses by telephone, fax, or email. UALR acquired funding for the program through JusticeXchange and a grant from the Arkansas Crime Information Council.

 

The computer generated program allows Campus Police to write a short description of an emergency situation that is converted into an audio message. With the press of a button, the computer sends the message to all telephone numbers in the system. At the same time, Campus Police sent the same message via e-mail to all student, faculty, and staff with a UALR email account.

 

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to take advantage of this new feature. Updates can be entered as needed because BOSS will update contact information on a regular basis in the AlertXpress system. UALR will add the phone numbers to the AlertXpress system beginning early next week.

                       

 

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