Emergency and Campus Notification System – 203.2

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University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Policy Name: Emergency and Campus Notification System
Policy Number: 203.2
Effective Date: July 1, 2013

Policy:

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is committed to communicating important information to its students, faculty, and staff. The university has a multimodal communication system (commonly referred to as the “RAVE” alert system) that will send via text and voice alerts, warnings and cautions any time hazardous conditions arise on campus as well as important information such as fee payment deadlines. For the most part, the alert system will simply notify the campus community of closings due to unfavorable weather conditions or hazardous roads. However, in the unlikely event of a significant incident such as a violent crime, major fire, or chemical spill, this system will be equally able to notify all students, faculty, and staff of the emergency situation. It is important to keep contact information current in the BOSS data base so that timely notifications will be received.

Criteria for Issuing Crime Warning

The university will issue emergency notifications or warnings in an effort to notify campus members about certain crimes on and around the campus in a timely manner. “Timely manner” means that upon confirmation by the university’s chief of police, the campus community will be immediately notified of any significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or staff. Warnings may only be withheld if they would compromise efforts to contain the emergency. The university complies with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act as mandated by the U.S. Department of Education.

Criteria for Issuing Crime Alert

The university will issue crime alerts which do not rise to the level of an immediate threat as a means of updating campus members about the status of possible crimes or investigations on or around the campus. The university chief of police or designee, the vice chancellor for finance and administration or designee, the vice chancellor for educational, student services, and student life or designee, and the director of communications or designee are responsible for consulting on a case-by-case basis of when “timely notification” information in the form of an alert is to be disseminated. Wording of the notification will be developed jointly by a designee of the Department of Public Safety and a designee of the Office of Communications.

Communication of Alerts

The director of communications or designee will have the responsibility for initiating the alert. Notifications will be issued by text and voice mail through the university’s emergency communications system to students, faculty, and staff having an active account in the RAVE alert system. Email messages may also be used if deemed appropriate to the situation. Notifications will contain information that promotes safety and allows individuals to protect themselves and will contain the time, location, and type of crime. Status updates will be disseminated and updated when appropriate and feasible.

Criteria for Issuing Weather Related Notices

Inclement weather can include any kind of extreme weather (usually snow or ice) which might create hazardous driving conditions or significantly impair normal operations of the university. Inclement weather might also include severe thunderstorm activity, tornadoes, flooding, or other natural perils. Decisions to close the university reside with the chancellor. The vice chancellor for finance and administration will advise the chancellor of weather and travel conditions after review and consultation with the associate vice chancellor for facilities management, the university police chief, and the director of communications. Information from the national weather service, local media outlets, and visual observations of street conditions will be evaluated. Upon a decision by the chancellor to close the university, a message is developed and released through the RAVE system by the director of communications or designee. (Refer to UALR Policy 215.1 for detailed information concerning campus closures due to adverse weather.)

Targeted Group Messages

Occasionally, special notifications may need to be sent to targeted or specific groups of recipients. Examples include such groups as residential students, students that need to complete a registration process, or a group of employees that should be alerted when there is a campus power outage. Currently approved groups include: All users, Chancellor’s Leadership Group, Chancellor’s Direct Report Group, communications staff, power outage listing, UALR tech support, UALR employees, all UALR students, UALR main campus students, UALR law school students, UALR Benton Center students, UALR residential students, and registered students who have not confirmed. Approval of additional specialized lists or groups for RAVE notification purposes resides with the vice chancellor for finance and administration.

Responsibility for Technical Support

Technical support for the RAVE system resides with the Department of Information Technology Services. The responsible staff member and a designated alternate for technical support will be appointment by the vice chancellor for information services with appropriate contact information on file with the Office of Communications and the Department of Public Safety.

Testing

A test notification will be sent to the master “All” list of contacts in the RAVE alert system at least twice each semester with one of those being in the week following the official 11th day of class census date. All other specialized lists will have a test message sent to members of the list at least once each semester by the designated responsible administrator for the list. Each specialized list will have a designated administrator who is responsible for keeping the list current.


Source: Emergency Management Plan 2009
Revised: 2009; July 1, 2013
Approved By: Dr. Joel Anderson,
Custodian: VCFA