A breakdown of Georgia Southern’s safety notifications

Emma Smith

Georgia Southern University officials provided further details about the university’s three types of emergency notifications

In order to keep the GS campuses informed of possible safety hazards, the three types of safety messages may be sent out:

  • Eagle Alerts
  • Timely Warnings
  • University Safety Notifications

Below is a breakdown of each notification and when each is used.

Eagle Alerts

GS Police Chief Laura McCullough said Eagle Alerts are sent to students, faculty and staff as soon as possible to notify the campuses upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation that involves an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees.

Some examples of immediate threats include:

  • Terrorist incident
  • Robbery
  • Outbreak of meningitis, norovirus or other serious illness
  • Approaching tornado, hurricane or other extreme weather conditions
  • Earthquake

Examples of situations that do not require an emergency notification under the Clery Act include:

  • Power outage
  • Snow closure
  • String of larcenies

All three consolidated campuses began sharing Eagle Alerts this semester, which has led to complaints among some students.

UPD is currently working to change this policy so that students will only receive alerts from their corresponding campus, unless they choose to receive them from all campuses.

Timely Warnings

Timely Warnings are sent to alert campuses to potentially dangerous criminal situations on or near the campus in a manner that is timely and will aid in the prevention of similar crimes occurring. They are sent out to students, faculty and staff as soon as pertinent information of certain crimes becomes available.

They are issued on a case-by-case basis in light of all the facts surrounding a crime, including:

  • The nature of the crime
  • The continuing danger to the campus
  • The possible risk of compromising law enforcement efforts

University Safety Notifications

University Safety Notifications are issued as notice of a safety issue off campus or in the community that may affect the campuses’ wellbeing. They are sent by email to students, faculty and staff.

Examples may include:

  • Crimes occurring in off-campus locations
  • Search for a suspicious person
  • Safety tips
  • Addressing widespread rumors of unsubstantiated crimes

The process of alerts

GS Director of Communications Jennifer Wise said in an email that for at least the past seven years, the Crisis Communications Team within the Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing has been responsible for communicating these alerts.

“Effective January 2018, we adopted the practice of the Armstrong Campus that Eagle Alert messages may be first sent by University Police and in coordination with the Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing to ensure messages are relayed to the University community as quickly as possible,” Wise said.

Wise said follow-up Eagle Alert communications, Timely Warnings and University Safety Notifications are issued through the Office of Strategic Communications in coordination with the Office of Public Safety.

Anyone with information regarding any of the notifications above should report the circumstances to UPD at 912-478-5234, or 911 from a campus phone.

For more information, visit UPD’s website.