Achieve Clery Act Compliance Using InformaCast Mass Notification

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What is the Clery Act?

In 1990, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, commonly referred to as the Clery Act, was passed, requiring colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses. Since then, the Act has been updated to address evolving campus safety concerns. For example, in 2008, following the shooting incident at Virginia Tech, campuses were required to provide timely notification about events that could pose a serious threat or impact the health and safety of those in the campus community in 2008. This is when many higher education institutions began turning to mass notification solutions to help meet this requirement.

While the Clery Act has many different parts, for the purposes of this blog post, we will be focusing on how mass notification tools can help campuses share information about events that impact safety and wellbeing throughout a campus.

What Role Does Mass Notification Play?

According to the Clery Center:

“The Clery Act requires institutions to alert their campuses by issuing a timely warning if a Clery-specific crime occurring within Clery-specific geography poses a serious or ongoing threat to the campus community. Clery crimes include homicide, aggravated assault and weapons law violations, among other things.

The Act also requires institutions to issue emergency notifications when an emergency threatening the health and safety of the campus community occurs on campus. Emergencies can range from a chemical spill in the science lab to an unexpected tornado to an active shooter.”

This means colleges and universities need to have the tools in place to reach everyone within their campus community with the details that will keep them out of harm’s way. This can seem like a daunting task, but many institutions already have the devices they need to reach people. The real challenge comes with bringing those disparate pieces of technology together to communicate a message to a large audience in a short amount of time. The right mass notification solution can help a campus do that with just the press of a button.

How can InformaCast Help?

Colleges and universities across the country are already leveraging InformaCast from Singlewire Software to help comply with the timely notification requirements outlined in the Clery Act. InformaCast brings together disparate technology most campuses already have in place, like IP phones, IP speakers, mobile devices, desktop computers, digital signage and more into a single system to build and manage mass notifications. The system can be configured with prebuilt message templates that are activated with the press of a button. This helps higher ed institutions save time and reach the maximum amount of people with critical safety information.

Singlewire has taken this ability a step further with the introduction of InformaCast Command Center within InformaCast Fusion. This feature gives campuses the ability to build icons within the InformaCast Fusion interface for common emergency situations (e.g., active shooter, chemical spill, severe weather). When an administrator clicks on these icons they can be prompted to answer simple questions that provide more details about the situation they want to send an alert about. These can include a specific area of campus where the event is taking place and what kind of things the campus community should be on the lookout for. This offers campus leaders the ability to provide more information than a prebuilt message template without sacrificing the time it takes to get the message out. And with InformaCast Command Center available within the InformaCast mobile app, administrators don’t need to be in front of a computer to launch a message. They can send timely notifications right from their mobile device wherever they are.

By providing campuses with enhanced speed and reach for their messages, InformaCast is helping colleges and universities fulfill the notification requirements of the Clery Act and keep their communities safe and informed.

 

 

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