How can the Emergency Alert System (Blackboard Connect) provide updates to students, faculty, staff, and parents?

Oberlin College has an emergency preparedness plan that includes mass notification through voice messages, text messaging, e-mail, and Internet. The Blackboard Connect service is a solution that provides timely alerts when an unforeseen incident has occurred. All students, faculty and staff members are entered into the system. Parents who wish to be notified by this service need to have their student add contact information to the student’s profile.

When will Oberlin College use the Emergency Alert System?

The college intends to use this alert system only in the event of a serious safety or life-threatening emergency affecting the campus community. Other non-emergency but very important information may be shared as an Outreach message.

What contact data should I provide to Oberlin College?

Student’s college email and phone numbers on file with the Office of the Registrar are already in the system. Faculty and staff members have their college email and office numbers entered into the system. You should provide cell phone numbers, hard line telephone numbers, and may add additional email addresses that will enable the college to reach you in an emergency. You can store up to six phone numbers and two email addresses in the database. Contact numbers and emails designated as Outreach will be used when a non-emergency but very important message needs to be shared with the college community

How will Oberlin College contact me in the event of an emergency?

Through the Blackboard Connect service, Oberlin College is making every best effort to reach you. That’s why we’ve employed the ability to contact you by cell phone, campus phone, text messaging, e-mail, and Internet. It is crucial that you log on to the college’s web portal to verify, update, or make additions to your stored contact information.

How does the system respond to busy signals or no-answer situations?

For busy signals, the call will be repeated twice in an attempt to reach you. The same is true for no-answer and call-waiting. If a message recorder answers the phone, a message will be left on the answering device. If after several attempts the call does not go through successfully, the system will stop and report your number to be busy.

If I provide multiple numbers and a cell phone with SMS text messaging capability, which device will get the message first?

The system delivers messages to phones and SMS independently and simultaneously. Therefore, it will be delivered to all your available phone numbers at the same time. It’s possible you could receive them concurrently, but depending on your mobile and landline providers, the times may vary. Text messages depend on your service provider and can often take longer than voice calls.

Does Blackboard Connect gain access to student, faculty, and staff contact information?

NTI uses an encrypted process to securely and reliably import the college’s existing data. The college maintains all data with full ownership.

I heard that a classmate or colleague received a voice message from the college, but I did not. Why would that happen?

It is possible we do not have all of your contact information loaded in our database. It is essential that you log on to the college’s web portal to verify, update, or make additions to your personal contact information.

How do I register to receive text messages from Oberlin College?

If you have a text-enabled cell phone, log on to the college’s web portal to register your cell phone for text message alerts. There is a free app for iOS and Android phones.

When I change or update my information with the office of the Registrar or with Human Resources, does it update my information in Blackboard Connect?

No, the databases for Blackboard Connect and the systems used by Human Resources and the Registrar are independent. Likewise, changing or adding contact information in Blackboard Connect does not update information for the Registrar or Human Resources.