By William Farris
Astute students may have noticed an email sent out recently explaining that Clackamas Community College had adopted a new emergency alert system called Rave Alerts to its safety measures.
This new addition to the campus’ systems not only allows text messages to be sent to students’ mobile devices, but it could also help keep students safe in dangerous situations. The first time the school utilized Rave alerts was to signal that the school was closing after 2 p.m. yesterday and again today due to inclement weather.
Previously, the college used a system called Flash Alert to send emergency information to students, faculty and staff. While that system is still used to send information, including press releases to media outlets, it had its flaws.
One such flaw was that, unlike the new Rave Alerts system, Flash Alerts didn’t automatically add student emails and phones to the system. Flash would require students to sign up to the system themselves ahead of time to receive notifications. Anytime a notice needed to be sent, it would also require someone to write out the message and then manually send it out, along with emails to staff and students, wasting valuable time in emergency situations.
Now, not only can the school use different templates for different events, but the system also has options to send messages via email, text, Facebook and Twitter. Another part of the system called Allertist allows for the ability to take over phones and computers on campus.
“I think that even if there is a chance and their preparation will save lives, or make lives easier to keep safer, then I definitely think that it’s something that they should invest in.”
Lori Hall, CCC’s public information officer, helped select and implement the emergency communications system. She said she is relieved to have this program available.
“What’s nice too, is I can do it from my phone, I can do it from my laptop, and in a real emergency I can even call it in and have Rave send something out for me, so it’s much more flexible,” Hall said while scrolling through the pages of pre-made messages. “It’s nice to know that we have a good system in place now that reaches all of our students.”
Hall is just one of many faculty members with access to the Rave system and its functions. To ensure there is always someone able to send out the messages when needed other members of staff such as the dean of campus services, director of college safety and others are all trained to use the system if needed.
These redundancies and preparations may seem like a lot, but, as seen in previous terms with extreme weather, including snow storms and tornadoes, it’s good to be prepared for anything. In light of recent shootings and other violent crimes on school campuses nationwide, many students and faculty alike eagerly welcome being equipped for every situation possible.
“I think that even if there is a chance and their preparation will save lives, or make lives easier to keep safer, then I definitely think that it’s something that they should invest in,” said first-year student Jaden Yoldschmidt.
Student Guenivere Molamphy agreed that Rave Alert is a positive addition.
“It’s because some kids don’t get the information, so it’s one of those things where it would help if they were prepared,” Molamphy said.
Rave Alert is active in the school now, and is ready to send alerts to all registered students. To manage your Rave Alert account, visit their website.
From there, you can choose how you receive alert in the event of an emergency and what accounts or phone numbers you want to receive alerts from. Students can also follow CCC’s multiple social media accounts for even more coverage of events and activities.