Getting information to students, faculty, staff

Credits: LIZ CHRISMAN /UNIVERSITY RELATIONS
Credits: LIZ CHRISMAN /UNIVERSITY RELATIONS
Credits: LIZ CHRISMAN
/UNIVERSITY RELATIONS

The Arkansas Tech University Campus Emergency and Outreach Notification System was implemented by the university to provide important information to students, faculty and staff in a skillful and prompt manner.

CEON is powered by Blackboard Connect and headed by Department of Public Safety Chief Josh McMillian along with Public Safety and the university’s Emergency Policy Group.

CEON differentiates between two different types of notifications, emergency and outreach.

Emergency notifications include any natural disasters, or manmade event such as an active shooter. Outreach notifications are used to notify the campus of school functions, severe weather, and campus closings.

McMillian said there are currently 13,218 contacts in the CEON system and 11,136 of those contacts received the test that was conducted earlier this month.

“The goal is to get information to the students, faculty and staff as fast as possible. With this system you’re able to, in a couple of minutes, reach everybody that’s out there,” said McMillian “I strongly encourage everyone to sign up for it.”

When CEON is triggered it notifies all Alertus systems on campus; which include the yellow boxes that are located throughout campus, all instructor modules in classrooms and all desktops in offices. It also calls, and sends email and text to everyone who is signed up. The website is also populated with the information that is sent out which then populates all social media feeds connected to the CEON system.

CEON is tested once a semester, near the beginning of the semester. Waiting a few days into the semester helps more people get signed up, McMillian said.

Abbey Stokes, a senior mathematics major from Dardanelle, said, “The weather notifications are very helpful during the winter months for commuters like me. It’s a good idea and a good system.”

McMillian has sent all notifications, but in an event where he is not able to a member of the Emergency Policy Group would send the notification.