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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Star Alert

Students, faculty and staff are now signing up for a new wireless emergency notification system that uses text and e-mail messaging to inform them of campus-related emergencies.

With Star Alert™, registrants can receive emergency alerts on their cell phones and personal e-mail addresses as well as those of significant others, such as parents, they’d want notified.

St. Cloud State is one of two institutions in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system piloting Star Alert, which will eventually be available to all schools in the 32-member system.

Because no one system is capable of reaching everyone, everywhere, every time, a variety of mechanisms are used to alert the campus community to emergencies. In addition to Star Alert, notification can be via the University Web site and messages to University e-mail addresses, phones and closed-circuit TVs. Everyone also has access to www.stcloudstate.edu/emergency, which outlines steps to take in the event of emergencies ranging from tornado warnings to hostile confrontations.

An additional safety measure implemented by St. Cloud State last fall was 308-TEXT, which allows anyone on campus to send a text message directly to Public Safety in the event of a life-threatening emergency. The message and the originating cell phone number immediately appear on the Public Safety dispatcher’s computer screen.

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