Gustavus to Test New Emergency Communications System

Posted on November 29th, 2007 by

As part of its ongoing and proactive emergency preparedness planning, Gustavus Adolphus College is enhancing its emergency communication program, including using a new service called Connect-ED.

Connect-ED enables campus administrators and security professionals to reach all members of the Gustavus community with information and updates during unforeseen events or emergencies — within minutes — through phone calls, e-mails, and text messages.

School officials ask that all students, faculty, and staff enter and regularly update their emergency contact data online to make sure they are ready to receive important information at all times. Members of the campus community can update this information by going to the online campus directory at gustavus.edu/gribly. (After logging in, click the “Your Profile” tab and proceed to the “Emergency” tab and fill out your contact information.)

“I strongly urge all members of the Gustavus community to take five minutes and update their contact information,” Gustavus Director of Safety and Security Ray Thrower said. “Immediate communication plays an important role in keeping students, staff, and faculty safe. We want to make sure that we are able to reach our campus community with critical and possibly life-saving information through a layered approach.”

Thrower and other college administrators stress that all contact information will remain secure and confidential. The system will only be used for emergency or other unforeseen urgent communications. Campus community members will not receive unnecessary or frivolous communications via Connect-ED.

“Historically Gustavus has been a very safe campus,” Thrower said. “The Connect-ED service is just another tool to assist us in making Gustavus the safest possible place to live, learn, and work.”

The College plans to administer a system-wide test of the Connect-ED service each semester. The initial tests will occur on Friday, Dec. 7, Monday, Dec. 10, and Tuesday, Dec. 11. On Dec. 7, on-campus phone equipment will be tested via a recorded message at 10 a.m. On Dec. 10, the text message function of the system will be tested sometime between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Recipients of the test text message will be prompted to respond immediately to the message in order to opt-in to future emergency text messages from the Connect-ED system.

On Dec. 11, the entire system — including cell/mobile phones, land lines, text message devices, and e-mail — will be tested sometime between 4 and 7 p.m. Students and staff are advised to alert family members of this test if they have included home phone numbers in the system as emergency contacts. Also, please note that the campus telephone service could be interrupted during the tests on Dec. 7 and Dec. 11, but that cell phones should continue to function.

Questions regarding this can be directed to Vice President for College Relations Gwen Freed at 933-6355 or gfreed@gustavus.edu.

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Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
jakin@gustavus.edu
507-933-7510

 

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