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California College Overhauls Emergency Messaging

Southern California's Marymount College has replaced its legacy emergency notification with a cloud-based notification system. The college cited a major failure on the part of its previous system as the impetus for the change.

According to information released by the college, the decision to overhaul its system came when its emergency notification system failed to function during a tsunami scare in March 2011 and campus administrators were unable to get timely assistance from the system's provider. For the new system, the institution, located just six miles from the Port of Los Angeles, decided to go with e2Campus from Omnilert.

"We liked the simplicity [from an administrator's point of view], we liked the price, we liked the flexibility of the pricing structure, the ability to add and subtract users. It just seemed like a very simple product, but effective,” said Denise Fessenbecker, director of general services at Marymount College, adding that the college has only needed to use the system once so far and that it functioned properly.

Fessenbecker added that another feature the college likes about e2Campus is that it deploys alerts to a variety of platforms that both students and parents can access.

Features of Omnilert's e2Campus 360 Safety Suite include:

  • uAlert, a cloud-based emergency and mass communications system that can send messages via SMS text, desktop pop-up, digital signs, e-mail, public address system, pager, Facebook, Twitter, and Web sites with widgets. Messages can be sent to students, faculty, staff, visitors, parents, media, first responders, or others;
  • uTip, which lets anyone on campus send an alert about suspicious activity to school administrators and police via text message, along with an option to send the message as an anonymous user;
  • uConference, which allows administrators to set up private phone conferences to specific defined groups of people;
  • uSafe, a mobile app that lets students request an escort to help them safely reach a location; and
  • Hotline, a phone service that lets multiple callers get through at the same time to hear an emergency alert.

Other higher education institutions that use e2Campus include University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Robert Morris University, Park University, Wartburg College, Greenville Technical College, San Diego Community College District, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and a number of University of Maryland branch campuses.

Marymount College is a Catholic institution with campuses in Palos Verdes and San Pedro. Marymount has approximately 900 students enrolled in associate's and bachelor's degree programs.

For more information on e2Campus 360 Safety Suite, visit

About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @editortim.

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