As parents get ready to send their students back to school this fall, the fact that colleges and universities are required by a federal law to have an emergency notification system in place may enhance their peace of mind. Effective communication is absolutely vital in an emergency situation, and mere minutes can mean the difference between a minor incident and a horrific tragedy. It’s reassuring to know that the technology available in top mass notification systems enables universities to communicate with thousands of students, faculty and staff in just minutes.
Change Out of Tragedy
Following the brutal rape and murder of their daughter Jeanne in 1986 when she was a freshman at Lehigh University, Connie and Howard Clery learned of nearly 40 violent crimes they had no knowledge of prior to the horrible event that changed their lives forever. They had selected the college Jeanne attended in part because of its presumed record of low crime. As a result of what their family endured, Connie and Howard were galvanized to take action and the result was the nonprofit Clery Center for Security On Campus, an organization dedicated to safe campus communities nationwide.
On to Capitol Hill
The Clery’s took their fight to Capitol Hill and due to their tireless efforts the Campus Security Act was passed, later renamed in Jeanne’s memory to the Jeanne Clery Act in 1991. The Act mandates that colleges and universities disclose crime statistics for incidents that occur on and near campus, requires the U.S. Department of Education to collect and communicate campus crime statistics, and more. An amendment in 2008 included requirements for campus emergency notification protocols.
Emergency Notification Systems Required on College Campuses
Time is of extreme essence when an emergency strikes a college campus or elsewhere. Thanks to the efforts of the Clerys and the federal law requiring each campus to have an emergency notification system, students and parents can rest easy that if there is a critical event on campus, their student will be alerted via their preferred communication method in mere minutes from when the first distress call is received by authorities. Armed with a state-of-the-art mass notification system, universities can use the system for a wide variety of events, not simply for security notifications. Weather-related closures, traffic and parking announcements, IT updates, and more are examples of non-violent events that can be communicated via the campus-wide emergency notification systems.
MissionMode’s smarter mass notification and incident management applications enable organizations to take control of crises, and reduce the time and cost of the response. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a demonstration.