ALERT: New e-notification system coming

Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown

The Board of Regents will soon implement a new emergency notification system for the safety of SDSU’s students.

“The new system will be not only for SDSU but for all six universities,” said Michael Reger, executive vice president for administration.

When the emergency notification system is activated, it will serve multiple purposes for students. The system will be used to contact students when there is an emergency situation occurring. This includes tornados, blizzards or any other threat to the students, whether it is man-made or natural. It will be possible to contact the student body from one Web face.

“It’s important to prevent students from harm,” said Michael Adelaine, vice president for information technology. “There may be a shooter on campus that could hurt someone.”

The emergency notification system will have the ability to contact students through their cell phones (text or voice), land-line phones, e-mail, pagers and blackberries, said Monte Kramer, the emergency alert system facilitator.

“E-mail can’t always be accessible, so it’s important that there will be more than one option for students,” said Adelaine.

Policies have not yet been put into place regarding the system and how it will be used, but they will be discussed at the BOR’s next meeting. Finances for the system will also have to be discussed. The BOR will first have to find the money to finance this project, said Kramer.

Two finalists have been narrowed down for the vendor position. The chosen vendor will provide technical support staff training, administrator training and access to the system for students and staff to provide necessary emergency contact information. They will also complete the installation and testing of the new system.

“I think implementing it is just the first step; we need to get our policies into place,” Kramer said. “The policies are necessary so that the system doesn’t become overused, resulting in people not taking it seriously.”

The notification system will be tested before it can be put into full use. The system will also be tested once a semester when it is in use. The intent is to test the system in May so that it is fully operable for the students in the upcoming fall semester, said Adelaine.

“I think this will be a really good thing. When students need to get home when there is a blizzard, they need to know when to leave as soon as possible,” said Michelle Mickelson, a sophomore journalism major. “It’s a good thing and it’s also a safety issue, so it should work out well.”

Once the BOR decides on which policies they plan to use for the emergency notification system, then the system will begin to be tested and put to use.

“It’s all about what is in the best interest of the students,” Reger said. “That’s really what the new system is for.”

For more information on the notification system’s plans, visit the South Dakota BOR Web site at