New Alert System Begins

Keene State is switching to new emergency alert system

Olivia Cattabriga / Art Director

Rachel Vitello

News Editor

Beginning March 4, there will be a new emergency alert system in effect for Keene State College. KSC is switching from their original emergency alert system to a notification system called Rave Alert.

According to KSC President Melinda Treadwell, one reason why the college decided to start a new emergency alert system was because of complications with the previous one.

“We had a real challenge in making sure that students who are no longer here didn’t continue to get those calls,” Treadwell said. “We had alums still on the calling list. It’s been very difficult to get the word out to our students on emergencies and weather closures.”

With Rave, students and faculty/staff will be able to receive text messages and voicemails messages about emergencies and weather closures. According to Rave’s website, the sender will be able to send the alert out in a matter of seconds to any Internet connected device.

Interim Director of Campus Safety Kevin Williams believes the new alert system will be a helpful upgrade for the campus.

“Our campus is moving to a new messaging system that I describe as embracing twenty-first century technology,” Williams said.

While Rave is replacing the old system, it will not be the sole alert to students in the case of some emergencies. For example, if there were a fire on campus, students and faculty/staff would be notified via Rave, but the standard fire alarm would still go off as well.

The need for a new emergency alert system was a large deciding factor in the search for a new campus safety director upon Jeff Maher vacating the position this semester. Treadwell said the college was looking for a candidate with experience in emergency planning, which is why Williams has assumed the interim position. Research that was done in deciding what the new emergency alert system would be was a joint effort between the campus safety team and Vice President for Student Affairs Kemal Atkins.

The University System of New Hampshire had also already been using Rave. The response from students and staff at schools using that alert system was positive, which contributed to Keene State’s decision to make the switch, according to Treadwell.

“Additionally, the federal [Jeanne] Clery Act requires institutions provide timely emergency notifications,” Williams said. “We have that ability currently, and our transition to Rave will enhance that capability across multiple platforms.”

For the most part, Rave will be used to notify students and staff about weather delays or closures, as those are the most common alerts to be sent out.

“Rolling it out, we hope it will be a much better platform for us, one that’s more accurate and will be easier for us to keep current the list of students, faculty and staff who will get those messages,” Treadwell said.

Campus safety has been trialing the system in the last few weeks in preparation for it to be official on March 4. In the case of an emergency or weather delay or closure, students and staff can expect to be notified in a timely manner.

Kemal Atkins did not respond to request for comment.

Rachel Vitello can be contacted at

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