Georgia Southern University launched EAGLE ALERT, an upgraded emergency messaging system designed to provide students, faculty and staff with immediate updates during emergency situations. The University will use the upgraded system as part of its existing emergency response plan.
The system, which will be mandatory for all students, faculty and staff, is designed to warn students and employees of potential threats or emergencies.
“Our goal is to immediately inform the campus community about an emergency and how to stay out of harm’s way,” said Ken Brown, Director of Public Safety at Georgia Southern University. “This emergency messaging system is just one of the avenues we use to reach the campus community. Other methods include mass e-mail, telephone, local radio and television stations, and the Georgia Southern University Web site.”
“E-mail and voicemail can only reach so many people in a short amount of time,” said Bruce Grube, president of Georgia Southern University. “Georgia Southern University wants to ensure that we are using any and all avenues to communicate with our campus in the event of an emergency situation. With so many students and faculty and staff carrying cell phones, the addition of text messaging will be a welcomed addition and provide us with yet another means of reaching the campus in an emergency.”
Since the April 16, 2007, shootings at Virginia Tech, the Office of Public Safety along with administrators at Georgia Southern University have been assessing the institution’s own capabilities in dealing with such a situation.
“The University initially launched an emergency messaging system last year, but this new system is a significant upgrade, providing much more functionality,” said Steve Burrell, vice president and chief information officer at Georgia Southern University.
The university will only utilize the emergency message system in three situations — life threatening emergencies, severe weather alerts (such as tornado or hurricane warnings) and other crime alerts that fall under the Clery Act. The Clery Act requires University officials to provide timely alerts of crimes that are potential threats to students and faculty members.
“Emergency messaging enhances our ability to contact a large number of people quickly, but no one system is going to reach everyone,” said Burrell. “Our goal is to ensure that we are able to reach as many people as possible. The key to the success of the system will be for students, faculty and staff to regularly update their contact information with the University.”
In addition to Georgia Southern students, faculty and staff receiving alerts, East Georgia Community College students attending classes on the university’s campus will be added to the list of those who will receive messages.
Students, faculty and staff at Georgia Southern University can update their contact info by going to the MyGeorgiaSouthern (http://my.georgiasouthern.edu) page and selecting “EAGLE ALERT.” They may then update their personal contact information through the personal settings area.
East Georgia Community College students should ensure their correct contact information is updated through their college office.
The University requires students to update their contact information at the beginning of the semester. Faculty and staff maintain updated contact information through the University’s Human Resources department. “The process takes only a couple of minutes, but it’s well worth it,” said Brown.
Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University, offers more than 120 degree programs serving nearly 17,000 students.
Through eight colleges, the university offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement.
The university, one of Georgia’s largest, is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars and is recognized for its student-centered approach to education.