Text Messages to Help Keep SUNY Canton Students Safe

NY AlertText messages will help keep SUNY Canton students safe, announced President Joseph L. Kennedy.

The college is implementing a system through the New York State Emergency Management Office’s (SEMO) NY-Alert emergency notification system.

“New York-Alert will allow us to send out alert notifications to faculty, staff and students’ cell phones, email accounts, and other phone extensions,” said Kennedy. “By using a multiple and redundant notification system, we hope to inform everyone on campus in the advent of an emergency.

The SEMO NY-Alert program was initiated by the State University of New York in Albany. Locally, college officials can write and send emergency alert notifications via the Internet, which are then sent to each student’s email accounts, cell phones via both text and voice, and even regular phones.

“The safety and well-being of everyone at the college is at the paramount of our daily preparations,” Kennedy said. “We want to reach students using the technology they already rely upon in their daily lives.”

The NY Alert program is completely voluntary for students, faculty, and staff. Members who want to receive the alert messages and instructions can “opt in” via SUNY Canton’s Northstar application.

To sign up for the alerts, visit www.canton.edu and select Northstar from the “Current Students” menu. Detailed instructions are available at www.canton.edu/nyalert.

This initiative is coupled with several other emergency management plans at the college. Two years ago, Kennedy added a Carillon Digital Sound System, which consists of four 100-watt loudspeakers, a 1,000-watt amplifier, and a computer-operated sound station. The system allows for voice and loudspeaker announcements if necessary.

“We would rather be over prepared for an emergency,” said Chief of University Police William Mason. “The speakers on the college’s faculty office building will be used if there is an emergency and we will be using the NY – Alert system to reach those out of auditory range.”

The college is currently researching the viability of adding additional speakers for auditory alerts and has begun testing all of its alert procedures.

SUNY Canton offers a wide variety of career-driven bachelor’s, associate, and certificate programs, as well as three master’s degrees in conjunction with SUNYIT, Utica. Most of SUNY Canton’s new four-year programs are designed so students can take them on-campus, online, or both. SUNY Canton OnLine features more than 65 courses online each semester. The college’s athletic teams have joined the NAIA’s Sunrise Conference, enabling students to compete in their respective sports for four years.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.

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