Last year, Beloit College quietly rolled out a new emergency alert system for the campus that allows the security office, select student-affairs staff, or the college's IT or communications divisions to send out text messages, emails, and voice alerts to faculty, staff, and students whenever storms threaten or other situations demand. It's a system - called Connect Ed - that Beloit officials hope they'll never have to use (except for seasonal tests). That said, here are a few things to know about it, just in case.
1. It's ready. The Connect Ed system is already loaded up with alerts so that when situations demand, alerts can go out to the campus community as quickly as possible. First alerts are built to instruct community members to take cover or avoid hazards. Follow-up responses with more specific details can be uploaded and launched after only a few minutes of work.
2. You'll be hearing from us soon--but rarely after that. The college will test the system once each semester. The first is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 2, at 12:20 p.m. (the “common hour”). What the college won't do is use the system to remind students about deadlines or promote events. If you get a call, email or text message from the system (it will show up as "BELOIT COLLEGE"), it will be something worth paying attention to.
3. It echoes. The college’s approach to using the alert system can most easily be explained as an “echo” strategy. The system echoes, for example, the county’s tornado sirens. When a tornado warning is issued for Rock County and the horns blare, campus security distributes a tornado warning alert.
4. It's current. ISR has worked with Human Resources, the Registrar’s office and the Dean of Students office to make sure Connect Ed's phone numbers are automatically updated daily.
5. The system only uses Beloit.edu email addresses for the alerts.
6. www.Beloit.edu is your best source for details. In the event of an ongoing emergency on campus, an alert bar will be loaded atop all Beloit.edu pages during tests, and also in the event of an emergency. This will be the best place to seek out updated details on the situation.
Questions? Contact the Office of Residential Life at 608-363-2350.