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August 21, 2013

New emergency notification system will expand Blinn’s safety capabilities

Board of trustees approve three-year contract with award-winning Rave Mobile Safety system

The Blinn College Board of Trustees approved the purchase of a new notification system Tuesday that will empower the College to communicate even more efficiently in the event of an emergency.

The board approved a three-year contract, with the option to renew for an additional year, with Rave Mobile Safety, an industry leader in campus safety software. The system will replace the College’s current emergency notification system, provided by Everbridge, when that contract expires in November.

Rave’s campus safety suite of programs will allow Blinn administrators to broadcast emergency messages to students, faculty and staff through text alerts, recorded voice messages, email, RSS feeds and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. This redundant emergency notification system can be activated over the web, by mobile phone or by calling a Rave hotline.

Additionally, an application called EyeWitness allows users to submit anonymous safety tips via text message. The software allows safety officials to respond to the user with follow-up questions or requests for more information.

Gary Waites, Blinn’s emergency management and safety coordinator, said Rave’s emergency notification system offers a more intuitive platform that will allow College personnel to quickly and accurately send messages to students, faculty and staff. Rave’s system also automatically updates its user database, helping to eliminate time spent by Blinn personnel updating the recipient lists.

“The customer service they provide is second to none,” Waites said. “The biggest advantage is that the Rave system has a much easier application platform for initiating alerts, allowing us to send out notifications faster and more easily while helping to ensure accuracy.”

Rave protects more than 5 million people across 500 college campuses nationwide. Its applications have been awarded the 2011 IACP/iXP Excellence in Technology Award, the 2011 APCO People's Choice Award, the 2010 IDG Computerworld 21st Century Achievement Award for Business & Related Services, the 2009 CTIA Emerging Technology Award for Public Safety and the 2007 Jeanne Clery Campus Safety Award and Campus Technology Innovators Awards.

Blinn enrolled 17,989 students last Fall and has experienced 28.3 percent growth since 2006.

Founded in 1883, the College’s tuition and fees average about one-third the cost of the same classes at most four-year public universities in the state. In addition to its four campuses in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg and Sealy, the College teaches online courses, dual credit for high school and prepares students for quick employment through its workforce education, technical training and vocational education programs. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.