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Campus E-alert system explained

Submitted by Jayme Goad on February 13, 2014 – 3:31 pmNo Comment

The campus alert system is designed to keep students safe. But, how does it work?The RAVE alert system is the primary communication between UALR and its students.

Several types of messages can be sent – texts, voice alerts, warnings and cautions – any time hazardous conditions arise on campus. The alerts also include other information such as fee payment deadlines.

During inclement weather, Chancellor Joel E. Anderson, makes the decision on whether school will be delayed or closed.

“We try to put out weather alerts by 5:30 a.m., if at all possible. Now, sometimes that’s not possible if it’s still a little uncertain, but our goal is to get messages out by 5:30 a.m.,” said Robert Adams, vice chancellor of finance and administration.

If inclement weather approaches while classes are in session, Anderson has Adams alert the communications officer to put out the alert to the students.

Staff members from UALR drive the roads prior to the beginning of a school day during forecasted times of wintry weather. The UALR faculty also monitors the National Weather Service.

“We also look at if the Governor is delaying or shutting down state offices. We take all of that information and make our best effort to advise the chancellor on what we should do,” Adams added.

Crime warnings are another alert that is sent out to students. A crime warning means that there is an imminent threat and a dangerous situation on campus. This can be a person on campus armed with a weapon or just someone on campus that can be harmful to other students.

When there is no imminent danger present, a crime alert is issued via the RAVE alert system. These alerts are sent out to let the campus know there is “no longer a threat,” Adams said.

Not all cases are sent out in a text to students because they all do not provide a current imminent threat, he said.

“The crime alert is “all a subjective analysis by me, the police department, our facilities people, anybody that has information bearing on that decision, is weighed and determined if there is any reason to send out a message,” Adams said.

Adams is notified of situations via the Department of Public Safety. DPS immediately starts reacting to the event. Edward L. Smith, chief of police, then contacts Adams and gives Smith all information he has at that moment.

“You know, you wish everything could be instantaneous and you had all the information in nano seconds, but the reality of it is, it just doesn’t,” he said.

Adams notifies communications and lets them know what to send in the alert and when to send it.

The RAVE alert system is linked with students’ personal accounts found in BOSS.

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