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NIU launches Safety Bulletins

October 3, 2012

Northern Illinois University launched a new social media initiative to provide timely safety information to the NIU community.

Traditionally delivered in the form of SMS text alerts or email advisories posted to NIU Today, the new protocol still sends emergency alerts via text message and advisories by email, and now includes safety bulletins on the emergency information website, as well as new Facebook and Twitter Safety Bulletin sites.

“We live in a fast-paced world, and the technology exists for us to communicate more effectively with our students and the NIU community,” says Kathryn Buettner, vice president for University Relations. “It makes sense to expand upon our already robust social media presence to communicate important safety-related information in a timely manner. We encourage the university community to engage with the NIU Safety Bulletin social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.”

Twitter users can follow NIU Safety Bulletins (@NIUSafety) by clicking ‘Follow’ at www.twitter.com/NIUSafety. Facebook users can ‘Like’ the NIU Safety Bulletins page by visiting www.facebook.com/NIUSafetyBulletins and clicking the ‘Like’ button.

Campus Alert text messages are ONLY issued if there is an imminent threat to the lives and safety of the general campus population. Campus Advisory emails are timely notifications of potential emergency (safety, criminal, health, hazardous weather) activity on or near campus where the threat is NOT immediate or life-threatening. The NIU Safety Bulletins Twitter feed and Facebook page will relay both types of safety bulletins as well as provide updates as further information is received.

“The Facebook and Twitter accounts allow followers to receive timely notifications and updates through social media without having to regularly check the Safety Bulletins page on the NIU website. These new sites also will help us be more proactive by providing safety-related information to the campus community on a regular basis,” adds Holly Nicholson, social media manager for the Division of University Relations.

NIU’s Current Safety Bulletins page provides detailed information about incidents that may occur on campus or near the campus where a significant number of students reside. General information such as the nature of an event, the date and time, location and any other pertinent information and updates are displayed on this page.

“The website provides a consistent way to provide information about a wide variety of events that may impact the safety of our university population. It provides a place to issue instructions and also details regarding any situation,” explains Jennice O’Brien, director of Web Communications. “I recommend that the campus community bookmark the page to stay well-informed about public safety issues.”

Northern Illinois University is recognizing Crime Prevention Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Fire Prevention Week during October. All month long, the university plans to promote awareness of the safety programs it has in place as well as offer safety tips to the university community.