Customer Success Story
William Paterson University Expands Safety Net for Its Temporary Visitors
William Paterson University is a leading public University with more than 10,000 students, William Paterson offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs through its five academic colleges.
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When William Paterson University of New Jersey made the switch to the Rave mass notification system, it was about protecting everyone on campus. And that includes continuing education students, camp counselors, bookstore staff, dining service personnel, conference attendees and other temporary visitors.
Nestled in Wayne, New Jersey, William Paterson’s 370-acre wooded campus is adjacent to 1,200 acres of wetlands and woodlands, only three miles from the Paterson Great Falls, and just 20 miles from New York City. The public university has more than 10,000 students, over 400 full-time faculty members and upwards of 1,100 administrative staff.
One of the features that prompted Fueshko to switch to the Rave mass notification system was the ability to send alerts to temporary visitors through the SMS Opt-In feature. When adverse events arose on campus, university administrators would send out alerts to the campus community, but not everyone received these messages.
“We now have the ability to opt in our outsourced employees through SMS text, so our bookstore, dining services and outsourced staff receive our notifications, plus our school’s continuing education program students,” said Pamela Fueshko, CIO. “Before, they could never receive the messaging.”
Like many university campuses, William Paterson is busy hosting technology conferences, music and theatre performances and lecture series, as well as youth summer camps.
“I can set up the opt-in when they’re on campus so they’re able to receive the alerts,” she said. “During the summer, we run a huge summer youth program and all those employees are temporary, so having the opt-in feature for them to receive those messages was important.”
“We now have the ability to opt in our outsourced employees through SMS text, so our bookstore, dining services and outsourced staff receive our notifications, plus our school’s continuing education program students. Before, they could never receive the messaging.”
WILLIAM PATERSON UNIVERSITY
In the early summer months, black bears occasionally enter the university campus. Fueshko set up the SMS Opt-In feature for the university’s summer visitors to receive black bear alerts and other messages while they’re on campus.
“So, when you have grammar school students that are attending camp here, we need to be able to get the message out to stay away from this area,” she said. About 90% of camp counselors entered into SMS Opt-In. “That was very helpful last summer; we had two bear alerts so the camp counselors knew what was going on.”
The university also sends alerts, such as severe weather notifications, to its bookstore and dining services staff, who have chosen to be part of the SMS Opt-In program.
“Most of them said ‘Thank you’ when they started to receive alerts from us,” she said. “Of course, they still have to pay attention to the companies they work for, but at least it gives them information about the conditions of the campus. Particularly for dining services, they still have to come here and provide meals to our resident students. But at least when we’re saying we’re closing or having a delayed opening, it gives them the ability to adjust their travel times and they know the conditions on campus.”
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