Through Omnilert, LLC, Colby-Sawyer provides the CSC ALERT system to the college community. The system is designed to send emergency messages to enrolled campus members’ wireless devices via SMS (text) message, emergency displays throughout campus, college-owned computers and text-to-voice messages to campus telephones. The CSC ALERT system is part of the college’s overall emergency communication plan.
CSC ALERT is used primarily when a situation presents an imminent danger to the campus; to notify the college’s Incident Response Team (IRT) of an incident; and when urgent and timely information must be conveyed to the college community. An “imminent danger” is one that threatens the immediate safety of the campus community, is not anticipated, and failure to provide such a warning may result in serious harm. Examples of such emergencies are a tornado, a chemical or hazardous material spill, or an armed/actively violent person. CSC ALERT is also used for “urgent and timely” information such as a delayed opening or closing of the college due to weather, or to communicate in case of a power outage.
Contact information submitted to the CSC ALERT system will be used only for purposes of emergency and urgent communication and will not be sold or used for marketing or any purpose other than emergency and timely communications.
The president or the president’s designee authorizes the activation and use of this system during a campus emergency or when urgent and timely information must be conveyed based on recommendations and/or discussion with the Director of Emergency Management (or Incident Response Team (IRT) designee), the Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications and the Director of Campus Safety. During a life-threatening emergency, the president may act alone based on information and recommendations from the Director of Campus Safety or the Student Development Administrator (SDA). In the absence of the president and only in situations that pose an “imminent danger” to the campus community the Director of Campus Safety or Student Development Administrator (SDA) has the authority to request and/or implement this action with an immediate briefing to the president and other Senior Leadership Team members to follow.
The CSC ALERT system will be tested at least once annually and/or as part of a campus-wide drill. The drill ensures that the system is in good working order and that campus community members know what actions should be taken in case of emergency. The annual Mountain Day notification is considered a test of the CSC ALERT system.
- Enrollment in CSC ALERT is available to all members of the Colby-Sawyer College community, Windy Hill parents, and its Board of Trustees.
- In order to receive CSC ALERT messages on their personal electronic devices, members of the Colby-Sawyer College community must enroll online and provide contact information indicating by what means they would like to be notified in case of emergency.
- A campus-wide message will be sent via the college's e-mail system explaining the importance of registering with the CSC ALERT system and providing a link to the enrollment page.
- Individuals who choose to enroll will complete the online registration form available through myColby-Sawyer.
- Enrollment information will be provided to all new college employees upon hire.
- An email message will be sent to all Colby-Sawyer community members at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters inviting those who have not done so to enroll and/or to ensure contact information is correct.
Activation of CSC ALERT
- When Campus Safety personnel receive a report that an incident has occurred or may occur that presents an imminent danger to campus, s/he will immediately advise the Director of Campus Safety or the Student Development Administrator (SDA).
- The Campus Safety Director or SDA will determine whether the incident presents an imminent danger and requires immediate emergency campus notification via the CSC ALERT or if the campus notification can be made effectively via other communication methods.
Imminent Danger – If it is determined that CSC ALERT will be used, the Director of Campus Safety or SDA will contact the Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications or designee, who will log on to the Omnilert system and send the appropriate warning notification.
Urgent Situation – If the incident is determined NOT to be an imminent threat, but instead, an urgent situation or lower-level emergency, the Director of Campus Safety, or SDA will contact the Incident Commander to consult him/her about the incident to determine:
i) the nature and level of threat,
ii) whether a CSC ALERT notification is required and
iii) to whom it should be addressed (all campus or specific groups).
- If the Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications is not available, one of the following Omnilert Administrators will be contacted to send out the notification: Vice President for Marketing and Communications, Communications Representative to IRT or the Director of Emergency Management.
- The Director of Campus Safety or designee will notify the Colby-Sawyer Director of Emergency Management or his/her designee (if not already notified), who will initiate the telephone tree for the IRT.
- The responding agencies’ Incident Commander or his/her designee in consultation with the Director of Emergency Mangement, the Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications and Director of Campus Safety (if available) should determine whether subsequent messages should be sent via CSC ALERT to the college community.
- When the emergency situation has been resolved and order is restored, a message will be sent to the community indicating that the emergency has ended. The agency responsible for managing the incident (as defined by state statute) would notify Campus Safety of the “all clear.” The message to the campus community would be sent by the Omnilert administrator who sent the original message or by college communications.
Additional messages may need to be sent to the college community with specific instructions or clarification of issues in the aftermath of an emergency situation. The CSC ALERT administrators should determine whether to use CSC ALERT or another less urgent communications vehicle depending on the level of urgency.
The Office of Marketing and Communications and the President's Office, in concert with the IRT, may be required to post or send additional messages through alternate communications vehicles (college web site, e-mail) to other important constituencies including parents and families; alumni; surrounding communities; media; and the general public.
CSC ALERT Testing/Maintenance
The Emergency Notification System will be tested periodically to ensure it is in good working order in case of an actual emergency or an emergency drill.
- When a test of the system is authorized, the college will make every effort to notify the Colby-Sawyer College faculty, staff and students via the website and e-mail.
- When the test begins, the Office of Marketing and Communications will send a message indicating that the system is being tested using the procedure described above.
- At the conclusion of the test, an e-mail will be sent to Colby-Sawyer College faculty, staff and students advising them that the test is concluded and any further emergency notifications should be considered real.
The following individuals are authorized to request a test of the system:
- College President or designee
- Director of Campus Safety or designee
- Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications or designee
- Chief of New London Police Department
- Chief of New London Fire Department
- When a drill is authorized, the college will make every effort to notify the Colby-Sawyer College faculty, staff and students via the website and e-mail.
- Prior to the drill, a message will be disseminated to the campus via e-mail indicating that the following message is associated with a drill and that all community members are to respond as they would in a true emergency.
- When the drill begins, Campus Safety staff will be advised to send one of the standard emergency messages.
- In concert with the above message, a message will be sent out via other campus messaging systems announcing the drill and actions to be taken.
- Drill staff will ensure that the appropriate actions have been taken (building evacuated or shelter taken as directed).
- When the drill is concluded, an e-mail will be sent to Colby-Sawyer College faculty, staff and students advising them that the drill is concluded and any further emergency broadcasts should be considered real.
This policy is subject to periodic review and revision at the request of the college’s Incident Response Team. Last updated in September 2021.