Campus alert system restructured from the inside


Everbridge notifies more than 18,000 students, faculty and staff about campus emergencies

The South Dakota State campus alert system, Everbridge, received behind-the-scenes updates this summer.

These updates will help ad-ministration send out mass notifications more easily and effectively. The system itself was updated to better serve students studying or traveling abroad in cases of emergencies elsewhere.

“If one of our students is studying abroad or traveling and something happens that they need to be alerted about, they will be alerted. And, it gets to them faster and more efficiently than the old system,” said Jayme Trygstad, SDSU emergency management specialist. “It’s quicker and faster to notify students on our part now… the way it accesses the towers to the people who need the alert has increased [in efficiency], meaning decreasing the time allotted to do that.”

Back on campus, this alert system helps notify more than 18,000 individuals comprised of students, faculty and staff of critical communication during events where timing is crucial. This can make a huge impact, particular-ly during situations like severe weather or active shooters.

Paige Leafstedt, a junior advertising major, has found campus security measures like the campus alert system reassuring at SDSU.

“I think that having campus alert systems are very important for the college atmosphere. Hav-ing an alert system helps students feel safe and also feel confident to walk around campus anytime during the day,” Leafstedt said.

“After students move away from home they are not going to have someone checking in on them every day.”

Every new student will receive an email notification from [email protected] during their first week of school. This email will link a student, faculty or staff member to the alert sys-tem website to register with the system.

“The main thing is using common sense when registering with the system. I highly encourage students to register with the sys-tem to how you want to be noti-fied if there is an emergency on campus… [I]t could be via text, via phone call, via email,” Trygstad said. Notifications can also be sent to other people, if a student chooses to do so.

Trygstad or the University Police Department are who administrate campus-wide alerts. A limited amount of people are allowed to send out alerts to maintain the credibility of the alert system during critical campus news.

The most recent use for Everbridge was for a tornado advisory this past summer.

“Using the campus alert system and giving students the tools to use this system only helps,” Trygstad said. “There are always opportunities to improve safety by giving people on campus the tools to stay safe and informed.”