Oregon State University

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of this notification system?


This system allows public safety officials to create emergency alerts that contain a recorded voice message, an email message, and a text message and send them to the current database of contact information for all employees and students. In crisis situations, the system will try all means of contacting each person in the database, and uses sophisticated means to verify contact so that we know we have reached everyone we could.


When will this system be used?


This system will be used for emergency notification and for periodic tests only. We have pre-identified 9 different emergencies that the system will be used for, including: Active Shooter, Fire, Flood, Weather Advisory, Weather Caused Closure/Altered Schedule, Health Emergency, Power Failure, Bomb Threat, and General Emergency.


Who will authorize use of this system?


Public Safety will administer the system and authorize all use of it. Contact Public Safety Director Denson Chatfield or Emergency Preparendess Manager Michael Bamberger if you have questions about this.


Can I opt out of this service?


Yes, you can call the OSU Helpdesk at (541) 737-3474 to request opt-out. However, you should understand that this system will be the primary means of communication in an emergency and your life may depend on getting information in a timely way.


Who do I call if I am having trouble accessing the web page to add more contact information?


The OSU Computer Helpdesk at (541) 737-3474.


Who will pay for text messages if I include my SMS/Text phone number?


You will be responsible for any text message charges that your carrier assigns. Some customers may have unlimited plans in which case this will not be of concern; however, if you do not wish to pay for text messages simply do not provide us with that phone number.


I can not login to the portal anymore; what is wrong?


As of September 2014, the portal has changed. You now need to create an account with Blackboard Connect and associate your OSU contact with that account. If you have not created an account yet, click the "Sign me up!" link on the portal login page. For step-by-step instructions, click the "Portal Help" link on the right of this page.


Why is my phone number listed as “999-999-9999”?


It is a placeholder. The OSU Alert system requires us to have at least one phone number for every person in the system - if we do not have a phone number listed for you, you will see an all 9s number instead. Please replace the 9s with your current and correct phone numbers.


How much does it cost me to participate in the program?  


The program is fully funded by Oregon State University and is offered at no cost to the participants.


Does this system allow for producing messages that meet 508 Compliance Standards relative to TTY/TDD message delivery?


Yes. The Connect-ED service has narrator capabilities for web navigation; as well as providing TTY/TDD message delivery with a single checkbox. This service additionally provides users with the option of utilizing the Dial-In messaging card for message activation.


Does this notification system allow users to select the type of message to be sent - voice, text, or voice and text --depending upon the urgency of the call?


Yes. The Connect-ED service allows users to send messages via voice, text, or voice and text depending upon the urgency of a call. Emergency calls result in notifications being automatically sent to all available contact points listed for each recipient for the type of call the user selects ( 6 phone numbers, 1 SMS (Short-Message Service) and 2 e-mail addresses.


What guarantee does Connect-ED offer that their system will always be functional and without failure?


Connect-ED service utilizes a fully redundant, zero-single point of failure system that ensures if one aspect of the system fails, back-ups and redundancies are in place to maximize up-time and call delivery to OSU. During the past twenty four months of service provision, Connect-ED successfully reported well in excess of 99.99% uptime, scheduled and unscheduled maintenance inclusive. This equates to less than five minutes down-time annually.


How does Connect-ED test their operating systems?


The Connect-ED service is tested through daily use. They deliver over 30 million calls monthly for over 21,000 clients.


Can my parents receive notifications?


We suggest you use the alternative home phone number or the secondary email address for your parents’ information if they wish to receive notifications.