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New Emergency Text Message System

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Arkansas Tech University has developed a new emergency text messaging system with a goal of more efficiently communicating important information to the campus community.

The new Arkansas Tech Campus Emergency and Outreach Notification (CEON) system is fully integrated with the Blackboard Course Management System that Arkansas Tech faculty, staff and students use on a daily basis. The previous text messaging system utilized by Arkansas Tech is being phased out, so any member of the Tech faculty, staff or student body wishing to receive emergency text messages from Arkansas Tech should enroll in the new system. “Emergency notification is a critical part of the security of our students, faculty and staff,” said Susie Nicholson, vice president for student services and university relations. “Individuals in the Campus Emergency and Outreach Notification system will receive direct communication from the university in the event of an emergency. Communication is paramount during urgent situations, and CEON provides Arkansas Tech with an effective tool to reach the campus community when time is of the essence.” Individuals who already have a mobile device registered as part of the Banner Student Information System (SIS) will be automatically opted in to the Arkansas Tech CEON system.

Those individuals will receive a text message on Thursday, Jan. 12, or Friday, Jan. 13, that will give them the opportunity to opt out of the texting portion of the Arkansas Tech CEON system.

Individuals who do not have a mobile device registered under the Banner SIS system at Arkansas Tech and wish to opt in to the Arkansas Tech CEON system should log in to the OneTech portal, select the appropriate member tab (student, faculty or staff) and choose the personal information channel. There, individuals will have the chance to register via the Campus Emergency and Outreach Notification numbers link.

More information concerning registration for CEON can be obtained by calling (479) 968-0646 or by sending e-mail to tech.support@atu.edu. As the system becomes fully operational during the spring 2012 semester, students will have the option of receiving class notifications via text messaging in addition to the current e-mail option.

In order for that function to operate, students will need to populate their mobile number under the Campus Emergency and Outreach Notification numbers area of the personal information channel in the OneTech portal. By doing so, students’ mobile numbers will be automatically added to Blackboard. “Set up of notifications for Blackboard remains the same except after the number is populated, users will have text and voice as a notification choice along with e-mail,” said Ken Wester, associate director of computer services at Arkansas Tech. Other outreach notifications that will eventually become part of the system will include communications from campus agencies such as financial aid, the registrar’s office and student accounts.  “The Arkansas Tech CEON system is not finalized and a thorough guideline will be published when it is completed,” said Wester. “Until then, the system will only be used for emergency notifications and the university administration will make the call on the necessity of any notification.”

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