April 17, 2007
07-062

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations

Valdosta State University Announces Connect-ED VSU Campus AlertService to Enhance Emergency Preparedness

VALDOSTA - Valdosta State University announced today a campus-wide data drive for cell phone and landline numbers for inclusion in the VSU Campus Alert communication service. Several months ago, the university acquired the services of Connect-ED to provide campus leaders and security professionals the ability to reach all students, faculty and staff with time-sensitive information during unforeseen events or emergencies, within minutes, through a single phone call.

The VSU Campus Alert service enables campus leaders to schedule, send and track personalized voice messages, and can also send text messages to cell phones and email addresses. Students, faculty and staff must opt-in to have their contact information included for alerts by entering their information www.valdosta.edu/editalertinfo .

“When an emergency or pressing situation, such as a hurricane or health issue like potential pandemic flu, arises, one of the primary courses of action is to alert our student community immediately,” said Robert A. DeLong, VSU’s Director of Environmental and Occupational Safety. “With VSU Campus Alert we have a system where we will now be able to reach students, faculty and staff with accurate information and minimum delay. We just need to collect the best contact information like cell phone numbers.”

VSU officials say that with cell phone numbers included in the VSU Campus Alert service, when students are handling their day-to-day activities, they can be assured that they will still be reached with important information, even if they are not on campus or tuned into local news.

Officials say the contact information included in VSU Campus Alert service will only be used for campus notifications and will not be made available to any other service.

“We will continue to respect the privacy of our students, faculty and staff, therefore, their cell phone numbers will not be shared with any third parties for commercial or other purposes,” said Joe Newton, VSU’s Director of Information Technology.

Newton said students, faculty and staff wanting to be contacted through the VSU Campus Alert service should submit their information at www.valdosta.edu/editalertinfo .