The Citadel, CSU use similar emergency alert system as CofC

The Citadel, CSU use similar emergency alert system as CofC

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The College of Charleston will be reviewing its emergency alert system over the coming weeks and months. The Citadel uses the same system with multiple officials in three departments who can send out alerts.

The College of Charleston's alert saying "a bomb has been found" went out around 11 Tuesday morning, according to college officials.

The Cougar Alert system works through Blackboard Connect, a mass notification system. The Citadel uses the same system to send alerts via text, email and phone.

"It's mandatory for cadets, faculty and staff," says Brett Ashworth, vice president of communications and marketing at The Citadel. "We also open it up to parents and alumni and other people who would have interest in issues at the citadel.

For security reasons, Citadel officials were not able to demonstrate the system. They say a variety of templates are built into the system, from bad weather to active shooter on campus.

"If we were to send out a message that we needed to correct, we would have the ability to immediately correct the information that we had just sent out and offer the current updated information."

According to the College of Charleston's spokesperson, Mike Robertson, a second message was sent out through the alert system and Twitter four minutes later, saying a bomb was not found.

Ashworth, says while information is sent out instantaneously, everyone may not receive the alert at the exact same moment.

"A good way to look at that is you have this much information coming through a provider about that big. Some people are naturally going to get information sooner than others."

Charleston Southern University also uses a similar alert, operated by another notification system called Immediate Response Information System or IRIS. It has been in place since the summer of 2007. Officials say it can also send out alerts through text, email and phone.

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