Public Safety soon to update PointAlert

PointAlert to be updated due to user errors

Written By Amanda Andrews, For The Globe

Currently, there are 1,300 Point Park students registered with PointAlert and 400 more staff and faculty signed on according to Besong. However, student enrollment alone for the fall 2018 semester has been recorded at 4,099, so there are many who have decided against opting in for PointAlert.

For junior animation major Shannon Heinl, she does not see having PointAlert absolutely necessary for her to hear updates about campus safety.

“Usually…I know they also send an email and such, and I have that open in my browser, so it’s just easier,” Heinl said.

Heinl also said that she has considered getting PointAlert but has not had the time to actually complete the registration process yet.

Elliot Clay, a junior cinema arts major, found PointAlert to be a satisfactory system for issuing alerts for students.

“Yeah, it’s really effective. I mean I think that everything’s detailed, and it’s very informational as to where an incident may be and how long it is and stuff like that,” Clay said. “Almost every time that I can recall they give you a time code, they’ll say ‘suspect has been apprehended’ or whatever it may be, and it works fairly well.”

Clay was receiving alerts from PointAlert regularly, but said that the text alerts have been inconsistent for him this semester.

“I need to refresh my PointAlert because I did have it at one point,” Clay said. “However, the alerts that I’ve been emailed about haven’t been correlating to my text alerts.”

A serious problem the Department of Public Safety has been grappling with is students who are improperly registered with PointAlert and thus do not receive alerts as they should. Chief Besong has offered to assist anyone with setting up and validating their account as this is a common issue across campus. To continue troubleshooting solutions to student PointAlert accounts, the Department of Public Safety is preparing to make the system more automated in the near future.

“In the summer, PointAlert will be an automated option to enroll,” Besong said. “Students will be presented with a message on logging in to their student portal as well as correspondence from our Police Department with information about PointAlert. They will be offered a chance to opt out of this enrollment. They can also opt out after the fact from their student portal. They are also free to opt out at any time via text or visiting our website. A similar process will exist for our faculty and staff on our faculty and staff internet. Our goal is to remove some of the validation steps as we are seeing a large number of people who remain not validated or do not wish to put forth effort to subscribe despite wanting notifications.”

The Police Department is hopeful that these changes will encourage more student and faculty utilization of the PointAlert system.