Fayetteville Policies and Procedures  205.0

Emergency Alerts, Safety Warnings and Campus Notifications

The policy of the University of Arkansas is to issue emergency alerts, safety warnings, and campus notifications, as defined below, in an effort to notify community members in a timely manner about certain types of crimes in our community, specific weather emergencies and other significant threats to the health or safety of the campus community.

For the purposes of this policy, notification in a "timely manner" means that upon confirmation by University of Arkansas Police Department (UAPD), the campus community will be immediately notified of any significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or staff, unless, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, the warning will compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency.  Confirmation time may vary depending on the specific situation and information received.

The University of Arkansas complies with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act as mandated by the Department of Education.

Process for Issuing Alerts, Warnings and Notifications

Emergency alerts and safety warnings are automatically sent to the campus community via all available channels. To receive emergency alerts and safety warnings via cell phone/text, students, faculty and staff must provide their cell phone numbers in UAConnect or webBASIS. Campus notifications are automatically sent to the campus community via email only.

If a situation arises either on- or off-campus that, in the judgment of the UAPD Chief of Police or designee, constitutes an ongoing or continuing threat to the safety of the campus community, the Chief of UAPD, Dean of Students, and the Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Relations and/or their designees are responsible for consulting on a case-by-case basis when information should be disseminated as an alert or warning and will attempt to consult for final approval before the alert or warning is issued.

If those individuals or designees are unavailable or immediate notification is necessary, such as in an active threat situation, the Chief of UAPD or designee may issue the emergency alert without such review. Alerts or warnings may only be withheld if they would compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency.

Emergency Alerts, Safety Warnings and Campus Notifications

The university utilizes three basic types of messages to relay emergency and other safety information to students, faculty and staff: emergency alerts, safety warnings and campus notifications.

Emergency Alerts

Emergency alerts will be sent to students, faculty and staff via the RazALERT (health or safety alert) or WxALERT (weather alert) emergency notification system. Emergency alerts are sent automatically via all available channels including university email and phones, and cell phones and text (for those who have provided their cell phone numbers in UAconnect or webBASIS).

Social media will be utilized when appropriate as a supporting communication platform.

RazALERTs:

Issued if immediate attention is required of the campus community due to dangerous situations that are currently occurring on campus or imminently threatening the health or safety of students or employees on campus including tornado warnings (when campus is in the trajectory of a tornado). The alert will be made immediately upon confirmation that a dangerous situation exists.

  • Sent via all available channels – (email and office phone for all faculty, staff and students and cell phone and text for those who provide their cell phone numbers in UAconnect or webBASIS).
  • Unit Responsible: UAPD will have primary responsibility for initiating the alert. UREL will have primary responsibility for sending follow-up messages with UAPD as a backup.

Active Threats:

If the emergency is an active threat (active shooter or other type of threat) situation on campus, it will be handled in the same way as the RazALERT Emergency Message process detailed above.

During an active threat, follow-up messages should be limited or avoided when possible as a security precaution.      

After the threat is no longer active and the safety of the campus community is no longer at risk, any needed updates (including “all clear” type messaging) can once again be sent safely to all available channels.

Campus Tornado Warnings:

If a tornado threatens the campus directly and the campus community needs to seek shelter.

  • Sent via all available channels – (email and office phone for all faculty, staff and students and cell phone and text for those who provide their cell phone numbers in UAconnect or webBASIS).
  • Unit Responsible: UAPD will have primary responsibility to sound campus warning sirens and activate the RazALERT system.

WxALERTs:

Issued when the regular operating hours (closing, delayed start or early dismissal) of the institution are affected by inclement weather and/or dangerous road conditions requiring the immediate attention of the campus community due to closure. Guidelines for emergency weather response on campus are detailed in two policies: Weather Emergency Procedure (FPP 211.0) and Inclement Weather Policy (FPP 210.0)

  • Sent via all available channels – (email and office phone for all faculty, staff and students and cell phone and text for those who provide their cell phone numbers in UAconnect or webBASIS).
  • Updates sent via all available channels.
  • Unit Responsible: UREL

In addition, UREL will:

  • Post the message to the university homepage and primary social media channels, and update the campus weather Hot Line (575-7000).
  • Contact local and state broadcast and online media including campus media (KUAF, UATV and KXUA).

Safety Warnings

Issued when alleged crimes that have already occurred on or near institutional property are considered by the institution to represent a serious or continuing threat to the campus community. Safety warnings (defined as “timely warnings” by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act) contain information to promote safety and allow individuals to protect themselves and include the time, location, type of crime, and available descriptive information of suspect(s) if available.

  • Sent via all available channels – (email and office phone for all faculty, staff and students and cell phone and text for those who provide their cell phone numbers in UAconnect or webBASIS).
  • Updates sent via email only.
  • Social media will be utilized when appropriate as a supporting communication platform.
  • Unit Responsible: UAPD will have a primary responsibility for initiating safety warnings. University Relations will have a secondary responsibility for initiating safety warnings if necessary.

Decided on a case-by-case basis depending on the particular circumstances of the crime or emergency, bulletins may be posted at appropriate locations around campus including bulletin boards, electronic bulletin boards, residence halls, entrances to buildings and other available electronic media. 

Campus Notifications

Issued to notify the campus community of ongoing situations or situations that have already occurred that have been determined not to currently represent a serious threat. Examples include non-criminal incidents such as a flu outbreak, limited gas leak, contained chemical spill or a tornado warning issued for a portion of Washington County that does not include campus, all considered on a case-by-case basis.

Campus notifications are not required communications. They are meant to provide the university with an additional communication option in situations where emergency alerts and/or safety warnings are not mandated.

  • Sent via university email.
  • Social media will be utilized when appropriate as a supporting communication platform.
  • Unit Responsible: UAPD will have primary responsibility for issuing campus notifications. UREL will have a secondary responsibility if necessary.

Anyone with information warranting a campus notification of any kind should report the circumstances to the University of Arkansas Police Department at 479-575-2222 or call 911. 

Other Notifications

Other campus communications will originate from UREL or other authorized campus entities. News.uark.edu is the primary source for university news and information, but email and/or social media can be used for specific safety-related messaging that does not meet the criteria for emergency alerts, safety warnings or campus notifications. Examples would include messages about unscheduled street closings or cancellation of a transit route.

Revised April 13, 2020
Revised October 12, 2015
Revised August 24, 2015
Reformatted for Web May 13, 2014
November 2008