Imagine walking along the Greenbelt after class on a sunny but chilly day. You’re still trying to wrap your mind around the null hypothesis you were just introduced to during statistics when suddenly you find yourself face to face with a mountain lion.
This is something you might wish you had some warning about, perhaps one of your friends who recently went on the Greenbelt could have texted you a heads up.
If only there was some sort of emergency notification system currently in action on campus. Oh wait, there is. You just didn’t sign up for it.
BroncoAlert is an emergency notification system distributed via text message, email and phone call to Boise State students and faculty. All Boise State students are automatically enrolled in the email aspect of BroncoAlert. An emergency notification will be sent to each student’s BroncoMail account in the event of a potentially dangerous situation, including weather.
In order for students to receive notifications to their phone, they must “opt in” online.
This can be done by going to Student Center from your my.BoiseState account and clicking the Self Service Link, choosing Opt In with BroncoAlert and then filling out the appropriate information.
All information provided to BroncoAlert is confidential and used only in critical situations.
According to research done last semester by a group of students in the NURS 417 class overseen by Professor Kathy Wiley, approximately 28 percent of students enrolled at Boise State choose to “Opt In.”
When the class surveyed students about “opting in,” they received a variety of answers as to why students did not sign up for BroncoAlert:
-Want to maintain anonymity
-Don’t know about the alert system
-Don’t remember to enroll
-Don’t know how to enroll
-Can’t afford/ don’t own a cellular phone
BroncoAlert is managed by the Boise State Emergency Response team which includes contacts from Boise Police Department and Campus Security.
Rob Littrell, the emergency management planner/ analyst for Boise State, explained the Emergency Response team’s goal is to get a BroncoAlert sent out as soon as possible. This is to increase awareness and safety among students and faculty.
“Our goal when there is a threat to life or property is getting that alert out within about five minutes of confirming it with law enforcement,”
The Emergency Management team has a list of set templates to respond to most criteria of emergencies to help with consistency and readability.
While the information in the text will change based on the event, all BroncoAlert messages will contain, at minimum, three components:
1. Nature of the incident
3. Actions to be taken by those affected
For example, if there was a fire in Chaffey Dorms, the alert would say something like this:
“FIRE at Chaffey Dorms. Avoid area. Update to follow.”
The Emergency Management team will usually send a few updates regarding the situation to inform students and faculty of the progress in the situation and to alert them when the area is once again safe.
The Arbiter will now be publishing BroncoAlerts in a timely manner on arbiteronline.com and posting them through Twitter @rbiteronline.
This may help inform students if there is a mountain lion on the Greenbelt.
For more information or assistance, go to http://news.boisestate.edu/bronco-alert/or contact the Help Desk at 208-426-HELP (4357) or email@example.com.