Campus to test alarm systems

Oswego State will be conducting a campus-wide test of the New York alert system on October 21 to ensure that all security systems are working in case of an emergency.

These systems that will be tested include N.Y. Alert phone and text messages, the college home page, digital signage system, and the carillon outdoor announcement system that chimes the time every hour.

"It is a good idea to test our communications, especially technological ones that might not work the way we want them to," Oswego State Director of Public Affairs Julie Blissert said.

The tests are also expected to help acclimate officials to the procedures that would take place during a real emergency.

"In addition it familiars the college community with the kinds of communications we might be using if we had an emergency," Blissert explained.

In the case of a real emergency, alerts would also go out on radio, television, and other mass media. Blissert said the test will not use these mediums.

The testing will also show University Police and public affairs approximately how long it will take for emails and text messages to be received. Messages will be sent to students signed up for New York Alert messages at 11:15 a.m., a time designated so that students receive the messages between a class break. Oswego State’s security management team picked this week because they wanted to test during a fully active, yet not class-disrupting period on campus.

"We tried the best we could to not disrupt classes, yet at the same time tried to do it on a normal class day when everyone would be here," Blissert said.

University Police Chief Cindy Adam noted that the new Higher Education

Opportunity Act guidelines require all institutions to test all their alert notification systems once a year. SUNY Oswego has tested its NY- Alert system each semester and will continue to do so.