September 29, 2009

VSU Campus Alert Test Friday; Register now for Text Messages

VALDOSTA - Valdosta State University faculty, staff and students can register to receive text message alerts from the VSU Campus Alert system for the first time since the service was activated in 2007.

The new feature will be tested along with traditional alert methods on Friday, Oct. 2. During the drill, those who have opted to receive emergency notices can expect a phone call, and if requested, a text message, which simulates what might occur if an actual notice was sent due to severe weather, campus closings or other urgent situations.

Information Technology Director Joe Newton said that like voice messages, SMS text messages will only be sent out for actual alerts and semi-annual system testing, keeping use of these numbers to a bare minimum.

The VSU Campus Alert System is provided through Blackboard Connect, a Web-based notification system designed exclusively for post-secondary institutions. The service, which was acquired and activated in spring 2007, enables campus leaders to schedule, send and track personalized voice messages and text messages to cell phones and email addresses.

Visit for instructions on updating alert numbers, frequently asked questions and other Campus Alert information. Read more about the Connect-ED at .

Opt-in/out for SMS Campus Alerts

Students can edit their Campus Alert information in Banner. Faculty and staff should log into the human resources shared services ADP portal. Directions for adding numbers in ADP are available below. Individuals may already be using a cell phone number for Campus Alert voice messages; however, the number must be added again in the specified fields in order to receive text messages.

Once a number has been uploaded to the system, individuals will receive a confirmation SMS message from 23177 within 24 hours. Those who have already added their numbers can expect the confirmation message around 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, when the Department of Information technology performs the initial upload of numbers into the Blackboard Connect system.

T-Mobile customers who want to receive alerts should reply to this message with "Y BLAZERS" (2529377 on a numeric keypad). Users of other service providers should do nothing further. All users who wish to opt out of Campus Alert text messages must reply "STOP BLAZERS" to the confirmation message. Removing the number from Banner or ADP may not permanently discontinue messages.

Faculty/Staff Directions:
Choose the "myself" tab at the top of the screen, then view "phone numbers." Choose the option to add a new number, and then use the "CellPhone2" phone type to indicate the phone number to which you wish to receive SMS text messages from Campus Alert. Enter the number separated by dashes (222-555-3333) and click the "Save" button. Numbers may be listed multiple times for different phone types.

Student Directions:
Login to Banner and choose the link for personal information. Near the bottom, click on "Create or Update your Campus Alert phone number." Enter numbers for voice and text messaging in the appropriate fields, check the box agreeing the numbers are correct and click to submit the campus alert numbers.
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