The Portland State Campus Public Safety Office has updated the timely warning system. The PSU community will now receive timely warnings within 45 minutes thanks to a new alert system that uses an off-campus server.
Before this update, the warnings could take up to eight hours to be received by the community. Phillip Zerzan, Chief of CPSO, said that timely warnings will now be received within 45 minutes of their being sent, but adds that they are often are received within just two minutes.
In case of a campus emergency, CPSO can send out two different alerts. Timely warnings are sent through email, and PSU Alerts are sent through email as well as by phone messages.
The timely warning system is used to inform the community of an ongoing threat to public safety on campus. Emails are sent university-wide to notify students and faculty of any danger and advise them to stay away from those areas of campus.
According to the CPSO website, timely warnings will be sent out if “a crime or potential crime constitutes a serious or continuing threat to the campus community.” Whether or not a warning is sent is decided on a case-by-case basis by the director of public safety or the vice president of Finance and Administration.
Under the Jeanne Clery Act of 1998, any college or university participating in federal financial aid programs is required to send out timely warnings in the event that a threat is posed to the security of the campus, its students or faculty members.
PSU Alerts—the second notification system on campus—are also sent via phone and email in response to impending danger on campus, such as a gas leak or a dangerous person. The alerts are also sent in response to inclement weather and unscheduled campus closures.
Zerzan added that the PSU Alerts system has never had a problem sending out phone messages to the campus community.
In the event of an emergency that warrants a PSU Alert or timely warning, CPSO says that it is important to follow the directions given. Entirely avoid the area the warning concerns, and stay away from campus if necessary.
Notifications of campus closures can also be found through social media outlets and the PSU website.