New WSU Alert System

Erich Schweitzer, News Reporter

On Oct. 25, computers across Winona State University’s campus displayed the same sign on their screens bearing the word “ALERT.” However, this was only a test of the university security of- fice’s new emergency alert notification system, “WSU Alert.”

According to the WSU Alert page previously known as “Star Alert” page on the Winona State website, the purpose of this notification system is to provide “immediate communication during emergencies that threaten health or safety and/or severely impact standard campus operations.” Were there a real emergency on campus, all students and staff would be notified immediately via this system and appropriate measures to keep every- one safe could be taken as soon as possible.

In the case of an emergency, the WSU Alert system will send out brief notifications with information on what’s going on. This will include the nature of the emergency, what action is recommended to take, as well as where to find more information regarding the situation. The alert notifications will also pop up on digital signs across campus to make sure they are seen by everyone.
The system is run on an “opt-out” basis. This means that all students and staff of Winona State are automatically enrolled in it so that they receive notifications every time the security staff sends one out. These notifications include text messages, calls, emails, and alert signs that cover the screens of university laptops and desktop computers.

Given the recent events on campus, it has become increasingly important that Winona State’s security team has these alert networks put into place. On the Oct. 26, there was another account of sexual assault in the residence halls. This and other events appear to be happening more frequently on Winona State’s campus. With the WSU Alert system in place, students and faculty will be notified immediately of anything that could be a threat to the health and safety of the university’s populace.

The WSU Alert emergency notification system is already up and running, as proven by the test run just last week. When there is a real threat to health and safety at Winona State, the system will be used to alert everyone to the situation. More information about WSU Alert can be found under Emergency Management on the Winona State website. From here, students can figure out if they are subscribed to the notification service and find out how to opt-out of it if they choose to do so.