RLC ROLLS OUT SYSTEM-WIDE WIRELESS EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM

06/04/2008

INA – Rend Lake College has beefed up security with Tuesday’s introduction of the Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS). The alert system streamlines emergency notification, making the college’s connection with students stronger than ever before.

WENS is provided free of charge to RLC students, faculty, staff and administration who want to receive emergency text and email notifications. The service is also offered to family and friends who choose to sign up. In an emergency, WENS will send an “RLC Alert” to a subscriber’s cell phone, pager or email account.

“WENS is meant to be used for emergency and significant event notification only,” said RLC Vice President of Information Technology Salah Shakir. “The message may alert you to an emergency situation, such as weather warnings for a flash flood, severe thunderstorm, winter storm, or tornado. The system also sends notifications of school closings and emergencies on the campus.”

The messages are short and meant only as an initial notification, explained Charley Holstein, RLC Vice President of Student Services. For more detailed information, RLC uses redundant systems of emergency notification to distribute news and instructions during an emergency. These include telephone inform-a-casts, RLC Webpage, radio/television notification, and person-to person contact, Holstein added.

Erin Morris, a 19-year-old sophomore from McLeansboro, signed up for WENS on Tuesday. She said registering was convenient and quick.

“It was easy,” she said. “I just clicked on the RLCAlert link on the college’s home page. From there, all I had to do was plug in my information and I was signed up.”

Since she attends class and works on campus, Morris’ sense of security at RLC is important to her.

“I feel safe at RLC, but this system makes me feel even more so,” she added. “With the frequency of violence on educational campuses in recent years, signing up for this service just seemed to be the smart thing to do. I think that just having the knowledge that something is wrong could make a big difference. And I would rather know.”

Participants can register up to four different cellular numbers, as well as a pager number and email address. WENS works for RLC’s main campus in Ina, RLC MarketPlace in Mt. Vernon, and Murphy-Wall Campus in Pinckneyville.

To learn more about the system, answers to FAQ can be found online at http://rlc.edu/emergency/rlcalert/faq.html. To register for WENS, go online to www.rlc.edu and click on the RLCAlert link. Additionally, an IT Help Desk is also in place to answer questions from WENS subscribers.

For additional information about this release, one may contact Shakir at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1210 or Holstein at Ext. 1336.

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