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In an effort to proactively enhance crisis communications, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh added another mass communication resource to the institution’s emergency and crisis communication strategy. The system enables the University to broadcast emergency messages through speakers in four locations on campus — Titan Stadium, Gruenhagen Conference Center, Taylor Hall and Halsey Science Center. It also features LED signage and speakers throughout campus buildings that can broadcast both written and audible messages.

The notification system will only be used to communicate during emergencies, such as severe weather warnings, gas leaks or fires.

“The public address system allows emergency dispatchers in University Police to provide real-time voice messages to an individual building, a group of buildings or to all equipped buildings,” said Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Tom Sonnleitner. “In addition to four outdoor speakers, the public address system includes most classroom and gathering spaces on campus.”

The outdoor public address component of the system will be calibrated between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sept. 14.

“Multiple test messages will be broadcast, allowing us to set the optimal volume,” said UW Oshkosh Chief of Police Mike Melland. “The broadcast has the capacity to cover the entire University footprint, so we want to alert both the campus community and our neighbors to be prepared for the test.”

Once the system is calibrated, it will be tested the first Friday of the month at 1 p.m.

“This broadcast system enhances the multi-channel strategy that the University currently deploys for emergency situations, which utilizes text messages, e-mail, the University Web site, RSS feeds and a telephone hotline,” said Jeanette DeDiemar, executive director of Integrated Marketing and Communications.

Students can still sign up for text message alerts by visiting www.uwosh.edu/home/titanalert.