College Communication Policy
Elizabethtown College typically will communicate with our traditional students through their College-issued student mail boxes and via e-mail through the Campus Connections system. On some occasions, a College representative also may contact a student by sending a letter through U.S. mail to his/her home address or by calling his/her home telephone number. Students should check these modes of communication frequently for important information from Elizabethtown College.
During hazardous weather conditions, Elizabethtown College will follow established procedures regarding classes and other scheduled on-campus events. Please see Snow and Extreme Weather Emergency for information about inclement weather announcements.
Emergency Information (EC Alert)
EC Alert is Elizabethtown College's communications system for sharing important information about situations that affect the safety of our campus community. Typically, EC Alert messages will be delivered to campus community members as emails from the College's EC Alert mailbox.
To enhance our ability to communicate during life-threatening and potentially catastrophic situations, Elizabethtown College entered into an agreement with Blackboard Connect Inc. to provide us with notification services through the Connect-ED Emergency Communications System. Connect-ED allows the College to send EC Alert messages not only to campus e-mail addresses but also to external email addresses, on- and off-campus telephones, and text-enabled devices. The phone calls will appear to come from 717-361-1988, which is the College's emergency hotline. Text messages will appear with the code 23177 or 63079. Emails will come from either EC Alert or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any concerns about the validity of an EC Alert message, please call the College's emergency hotline at 717-361-1988 or visit this website, as the Emergency Management Group also will post emergency notices at these locations.
This contact information-students' mobile phone numbers and the contact information for their emergency contacts-will be collected through JayWeb during Preliminary Check-in, which is held in August and January of each year. Students are responsible for updating this contact information as necessary throughout the semester. The EC Alert system is tested once per semester. The date of the test will be announced in Campus Connections.
Emergency/Clery Act Communication Protocol
At Elizabethtown College the campus community (faculty/staff/students) will be notified in a timely manner (through a variety of communication delivery channels) when crimes or other incidents that threaten health or safety occur. These incidents can be defined as:
- Any significant or dangerous campus situation posing an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees
- Any significant incident that already occurred but still represents a serious ongoing threat to the campus community (prescribed by the Clery Act as a Timely Warning)
- General campus safety information that is not of an urgent nature but is issued in the best interest of the members of the campus community
The College will also distribute follow-up reports related to significant incidents and safety information on general topics of importance to all employees and students.
Elizabethtown College has defined three different levels of communication, each determined by the type and urgency of the identified incident. These are detailed below:
1. Emergency Notification IMMEDIATE THREAT (using the EC Alert system)
An emergency notification will be issued in the event of any significant emergency or dangerous situation occurring on campus which involves an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees.
- Outbreak of infectious disease such as meningitis, norovirus or other serious illness
- Approaching tornado, hurricane or other extreme weather conditions
- Gas leak or chemical spill
- Terrorist incident
- Armed intruder/Active shooter
- Bomb threat
- Civil unrest, rioting or campus protest
- Explosion or campus-wide/residential fire
- Homicide/Rape/Sexual Assault/Assault-when perpetrator is not apprehended
Emergency notification is issued immediately upon confirmation that a dangerous situation or emergency exists or threatens.
- ECAlert System- use of message templates which are populated with incident-specific information. Email, text messages and voice mail messages (where appropriate) are automatically generated.
- Website Updates- information will be posted to the College's website
- Emergency Hotline Updates- information will be updated on the information hotline (361-1988)
The Emergency Management Group of Elizabethtown College, or select members of Senior Staff/Resident Life Staff are responsible for determining the deployment of the ECAlert system for use in disseminating emergency notification/information. The College's Marketing and Communications office will issue all ECAlerts.
2. Timely Warning ONGOING THREAT (using "For Your Safety" Campus Connections)
A timely warning is triggered when a Clery Act defined crime has already occurred but conditions remain that present an ongoing threat. (For example, a rape is reported to and confirmed by Campus Security but the suspect has not been apprehended.) A Timely Warning should be considered only when a serious or continuing threat exists to students or employees.
- Clery Act defined crime such as rape, sexual assault, burglary, homicide and other violent crimes that impact people or assets (buildings, cars, personal possessions) where the perpetrator remains at large and for which a dangerous condition may exist for students or employees.
Issue a timely warning as soon as the pertinent information is available.
"For Your Safety" Campus Connection issued, via email, using the information template as required by the Clery Act.
The Director of Campus Security (in consultation with local law enforcement), Dean of Students, Director of Residence Life, and the Office of Marketing & Communications are responsible for determining if a timely warning is to be issued. The College's Marketing and Communication office will issue all "For Your Safety" Campus Connections.
3. GENERAL CAMPUS SAFETY INFORMATION (Using "For Your Safety" Campus Connections)
The disclosure of information that is related to the general safety of members of the campus community.
Vehicle accident that blocks traffic and requires alternative travel patterns, construction/demolition that poses danger to students/employees in specific areas of campus, etc.
Issued as a "For Your Safety" Campus Connections as soon as information is available. The timeliness of the message is not as critical as in an emergency situation, but prompt communication is required.
The College's Marketing and Communication office will issue the "For Your Safety" Campus Connections.
4. Tracking the Communication Process
The incident will be tracked, from initial reporting to full conclusion, inclusive of time-stamped phone calls and electronic communications in order to assess the timeliness of decision-making and communication for post-event evaluation.
5. Closing the Communication Loop
In both the ECAlert and Timely Warning scenarios outlined above, the College will issue a "wrap-up" communication which will serve to close the communication loop for each incident. The campus community deserves the reassurance that law enforcement, campus security and/or residence life have investigated and brought the incidents to a satisfactory conclusion.