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NIU to test campus alert system Nov. 17

November 15, 2011

The Northern Illinois University Department of Public Safety will conduct a test of its Campus Alert System on Thursday, November 17 at 1:55 p.m. Everyone who has subscribed to the text alert system should receive a text message that is clearly labeled as a test of NIU’s emergency text alert messaging system.

The following test message will be sent via text message (SMS) at that time:

Subject line: *TEST* NIU Campus Alert *TEST*
Body of message: This is a TEST of the N I U Campus Text Alert system. This is only a TEST.

NIU Alert

Additionally, when this text alert is triggered, the message should also be displayed on IPTV and on campus computer workstations running the Novell client, which include the workstations in campus computer labs.

As a result of upgrades that have taken place in approximately 20 buildings on campus, this alert will also be broadcast audibly through the fire alarm system. The installation of these upgrades will continue across campus until each building is capable of transmitting these messages.

The Campus Text Alert test is required on an annual basis to comply with the federal Clery Act. In the event of an imminent and verifiable threat to the lives and safety of the general campus population, the NIU Police will send a text message (SMS) notification to text-enabled cell phones.

Alert information would also appear on the home page, Emergency information page ( and Department of Police and Public Safety page ( in addition to audible messaging, IPTV and computer workstation displays.

NIU Campus Text Alert messages are designed to give a brief description of the situation and provide initial instructions to the community. Upon receiving an NIU Campus Text Alert, people should immediately share the information with those nearby.

“This is an important test in order to make sure the Campus Text Alert system is working properly,” said Darren Mitchell, director of NIU’s Office of Emergency Management & Planning. “We encourage people to register to receive Campus Text Alerts before the test takes place and also to report if they registered for but did not receive a text alert during the test.”

Students, faculty and staff may register and/or update registrations to receive text alerts at If after the test takes place on November 17, a registrant did not receive a test text alert, notify the ITS Helpdesk at (815) 753-8100 to report the problem.

Campus Text Alerts are only issued if there is an imminent threat to the lives and safety of the general campus population and are delivered via SMS.

NIU AdvisoryCampus Email Advisories are timely notifications of potential emergency (safety, electrical/power outages in academic buildings and residence halls, criminal, health, hazardous weather) activity on or near campus where the threat is NOT immediate or life-threatening.  Campus Advisories are delivered via e-mail, and the NIU community may register to receive this information by visiting

“I encourage all faculty, staff and students, as well as parents of students to register for our emergency text alerts and to sign up with a preferred email address for advisory updates,” said NIU Vice President for the Division of University Relations Kathy Buettner. “Commuter students and students at NIU’s education centers in Rockford, Hoffman Estates and Naperville are especially encouraged to register for the advisory updates as a quick and convenient way for NIU to notify them if weather conditions result in class delays or cancellations.”

More information regarding Campus Text Alerts and Campus Email Advisories, public safety programs and other important safety and security information may be found at