Emergency Notification Information

Wellesley College Emergency Notification System

In February 2008, Wellesley College implemented our new emergency notification system, which will enable us to contact members of the campus community in the case of an emergency. We contracted with Blackboard Connect® for this service, a company that has considerable experience with other colleges and universities.

In the event of a serious public safety emergency, the system allows us to reach members of the community via voice messages, e-mails, and text messages. This service is part of Wellesley College's overall emergency preparedness efforts.

We will only use this system in cases of extreme emergency and testing. We will not use the system for routine notices or announcements.

Students, faculty and staff can access Self Service via the MyWellesley Portal and be able to view their own emergency information, input emergency contact information for significant others, and input user cell phones and alternate e-mail addresses.

Students will be notified via their cell phone, text messaging and campus e-mail, and campus phones (if you have signed up for personal service). Faculty and staff will be notified via text messaging, home phone, cell phone, office phones, campus e-mail, and alternate e-mail.

At this time, we will not call cell phones with international numbers.

Please realize that text messaging rates will apply in accordance with your particular service plan.

To access the form, go to myWellesley portal at https://my.wellesley.edu.   After logging in, click on Employment Services or Students tab, Banner Self-Service, Personal Information, and then Verify and Update Contact Information.

Test of the BlackBoard Connect Emergency Notification System

A campus-wide test of the notification system will take place once each semester.

Caller ID for phone messages is (781) 283-2121. For text messages, it is 23177.

If you entered a cell phone that is text enabled, you will receive a text message to confirm you are set to receive emergency text messages. You will see 23177 as the number sending you the message and all subsequent messages. Save this number. Program it as WCALERT so you can quickly recognize it as the official source of Wellesley College emergency notification messages.

For more information: Please contact Lisa Barbin, Chief of Police

Frequently Asked Questions
Please Note:
(T-Mobile subscriber steps to opt in or out of text messaging vary slightly)

Question: As a student, how will my information be used?

Answer:


Contact information may be released to College officials and staff, including members of the faculty, who have a legitimate education interest and to students serving on official committees or assisting a school official in performing his or her official duties.

Student contact information may be used for several purposes including but not limited to:

  • Communicating with families about important events such as Friends & Family Weekend, Commencement, and First-Year Orientation.
  • Populating other systems including the college-wide emergency notification system, Medicat, and the online Wellesley College Directory (on-campus viewing only).

Sharing with staff members who are expected to respond to student emergencies, including employees within the Office of Residential Life, Health and Counseling Services, Office of the Dean of Students, Campus Police, and Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and with staff and faculty members including coaches, faculty and staff members who oversee off-campus student activities, such as study, internships, or travel. The definition of College officials can be found in the Wellesley College Registrar's Office Family Education Rights and Privacy Act notice, found at http://www.wellesley.edu/registrar/ferpa

Question:
Do I need to enroll to receive messages?

Answer:
No.

You will receive the initial confirmation message and you do not need to respond to it to continue to receive future messages.

Question:
If I supply a cell phone number for text messaging, what message will I receive?

Answer:
The confirmation message will state the following:

WCALERT: You are now confirmed to receive alerts from us. More info text reply "HELP" or "STOP WCALERT" to opt-out

For T-Mobile subscribers, the following message is sent instructing you to perform an action:

WCALERT: You are now confirmed to receive SMS alerts from us. You must text reply "Y WCALERT " to confirm this request

After the T-Mobile subscriber sends the text reply, the system will send the following message:

WCALERT: You are now confirmed to receive alerts from us. More info text reply "HELP" or "STOP WCALERT" to opt out

Question:
How do I opt-out of text messages?

Answer:
This service is part of Wellesley College’s overall emergency preparedness efforts.  Wellesley College urges you to not opt-out since text messaging is an important means of contacting you in the event of an emergency.

If you choose to opt -out, you may do so by texting “STOP WCALERT" or “QUIT WCALERT" to 23177. After you have done this, you will receive the following message:

You are now confirmed to stop receiving messages from WCALERT . More info text reply "HELP" or go to www.blackboardconnect.com/sms

If you are a T-Mobile subscriber, you will receive the following message asking you to perform an action:

You have asked to stop receiving text alerts from us. You must reply "Y WCALERT" to confirm this request

Question:
How do I change emergency information that I cannot update myself via the form?

Answer:

  • STUDENTS - contact the Registrar's Office
  • EMPLOYEES (FACULTY, ADMINISTRATIVE AND UNION STAFF) - contact Human Resources.

Question:
Can I opt out of email and voice messages?

Answer:
No. You may only opt out of text messaging.

Question:
From what number will these text messages display?

Answer:
You will see 23177 as the text messaging number sending you the confirmation message and all subsequent messages.  Please save this number and program it as WCALERT so that you can quickly recognize this number as the official source of Wellesley College emergency messages.

Question:
I did not receive a confirmation message.  What happened?

Answer:
First, be sure that the College has your correct cell phone number by going to: MyWellesley Portal at https://my.wellesley.edu.   After logging in, click on Employment Services or Students tab, Banner Self-Service, Personal Information, and then Verify and Update Contact Information.

Question:
I did not receive a confirmation message because my phone wasn’t text enabled.  I have since contacted my mobile phone provider to enable it.  Do I need another confirmation message sent?

Answer:
No.

If your SMS phone was already submitted to our database, you should be confirmed to receive SMS alerts from us. However, you may also test to find out by texting the word “SUBSCRIBE WCALERT ” to 23177 and you will receive a reply with the following:

WCALERT: This phone number has already been opted in. More info text reply "HELP" or "STOP WCALERT" to opt-out.

Question:
What if I opted-out but later decide I would like to opt-in again?

Answer:
You may request to begin receiving text messages by texting “SUBSCRIBE WCALERT" to 23177

Question:
If I change mobile phone providers but keep the same number, do I need to opt-in again?

Answer:
No.  Once your phone number has been opted-in, it stays registered within the system.

Question:
What if I'm not sure I opted in after a previous opt out?

Answer:

The following message will be sent if the phone number is present in the system:

WCALERT: This phone number has already been opted in. More info text reply "HELP" or "STOP WCALERT" to opt-out.

Question:
The voice message I received started in the middle of a sentence then repeated. Is this normal?

Answer:
It is normal. Blackboard Connect uses energy level detection to identify whether they reach an answering machine or a live person. If the system cannot tell the difference it will continue to loop the message until it detects the beep of the answering machine. When that happens, the message is stopped and is replayed in its entirety. .

 

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Important

Campus Police
Important Numbers::

EMERGENCY:
781-283-5555
NON-EMERGENCY:
781-283-2121
TTY:
781-283-2303

Town of Wellesley:
EMERGENCY: Dial 911
Non-emergency:
Police Department
781-235-1212
Fire Department
781-235-1300

 

 

What is a Heightened Security State of Alert?

 

Related Links

 

Forms

 

Campus Crime Alerts