The system set up to notify students, staff and faculty in the event of an emergency had a small problem: some users weren’t picking up its calls because they thought they were coming from telemarketers.
The phone number displayed by the UWindsor Alert system was generated by the company behind the software, says sergeant Chris Zelezney of Campus Community Police.
“Then when people got the calls, they were confused as to the source,” he says. “I got a lot of comments back from people.”
A change to the settings in the application has replaced the previous phone number with 519-253-3000—which users will recognize as originating from the University.
“We aren’t able to make it display UWindsor Alert, but this is the next best thing,” Zelezney says.
The system allows administrators to send simultaneous alerts in minutes through email-to-text messaging, voicemail and e-mail to such user devices as cell phones, land-line phones, fax machines and PDAs.
“It provides members of our campus community with an additional layer of security and protection,” says Zelezney.
He says it complements more traditional emergency communication methods, including University-wide broadcast e-mails, on-line updates via the UWindsor.ca homepage, coordinated use of media outlets and public address systems.
To be most effective, UWindsor Alert requires individuals to provide accurate and up-to-date personal contact information. Zelezney urges anyone who has not yet registered their emergency contact information to do so on the Campus Police website.