State university scores high marks in alerting students when danger threatens using MIR3

School police focus on establishing a comprehensive emergency alerting system at California State University to successfully manage threats to students, educators, and staff.

Mass notification in a university setting

As part of the California State University (CSU) system, CSU San Marcos (CSUSM) provides a dynamic academic environment where students can thrive and gain the skills they need for success in life. The University is located in the foothills of northern San Diego County in the city of San Marcos, a community of more than 80,000 residents. The University has over 20 buildings on a 304-acre campus with roughly 13,000 students and 2,000 faculty and staff.

The Problem: Reaching thousands of students at once

Until recently, colleges and universities were viewed as safe and protected places of higher learning. That image has been changed dramatically by events in recent years, and schools like CSUSM have taken a much more active stance in guarding the safety of each and every student.

When Emergency Manager Robert Williams started working with CSUSM University Police Department, he wanted to be sure that existing systems could be counted on to not only alert people across the sprawling campus, but to also reach students.

The Solution: MIR3

In the MIR3 solution from OnSolve, Williams discovered the ability to deliver alerts by text, email and phone. In working directly with the OnSolve team he was able to integrate MIR3 to other systems to gain additional capabilities such as activating other alerting mechanisms on campus, like speakers, digital signage, desktop alerts on computers and even locking campus doors if a shut-down were called for. Working together, Williams and the OnSolve team found a way to integrate the system, known to those on campus as AlertU, in a way that was all too soon to be tested in unexpected ways.

How CSUSM benefits from MIR3:

  • Ease of use – launching a notification can accomplished in seconds. On-call initiators can log in from anywhere with an Internet-connected device and choose to send critical communications immediately
  • Targeted recipient groups – distributing messages to specific groups of people, organized by geographic zone or recipient type (faculty, staff, student, etc.)
  • Data security with ISO 27001 and SSAE 16 compliance – maintains contact and other data in geographically dispersed, multiple-redundant data centers, meeting the highest standards for data security and privacy