Use of University-Generated SMS Alerts to Students/Staff via IT Services Bulk Messaging System Guideline
The University needs to have the capacity to communicate rapidly with large numbers of students and staff, in the event of an emergency. One means to do this can be by way of bulk Short Message Service (SMS) messaging.
A statement in the terms and conditions of enrolment currently informs students that SMS messages may be used to alert them to important university information. Students must accept these terms and conditions before being able to proceed to enrolment.
This guideline should be used to inform staff on the correct procedure for requesting and sending bulk SMS messages to students and/or staff.
It also supplements the University's Critical Incident Management Policy - 000828 and Critical Incident Management Procedure - 000829 and should be read in conjunction with those documents.
2. Guidelines for Action
Only staff listed below are authorised to approve the bulk sending of SMS messages via the IT Services bulk messaging system.
- Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellors
- Assistant Deputy Vice Chancellor (Services)
- Chief Information Officer, IT Services
- Academic Registrar
- Director, FM Services
Any staff requesting that a bulk SMS via the IT system be sent needs to seek approval from one of the staff members listed above and send the message and the approval to one of the following staff who are able to access the system:
- Associate Director Infrastructure, IT Services
- Associate Director Client Services, IT Services
- Associate Director Enterprise Applications, IT Services
- Associate Director, Asset and Property Services, FM Services
The Associate Director, Asset and Property Services, is responsible for ensuring that at least two other Facilities Management staff members across campuses are trained in accessing the system and sending bulk SMS messages, in order to ensure a rapid response capacity.
Associate Director, Infrastructure, is responsible for updating lists of student and staff mobile phone numbers from NUSTAR and HR on a monthly basis.
3. Guidelines for Messages
The first three words of the message must be capitalised for the purposes of sending.
The message must contain no more than 160 characters.
While the system is primarily for the purposes of alerting staff and students to emergency and crisis situations, it can be used to contact students for other general information purposes provided the correct authority (as above) is obtained in writing.
This facility is not to be used for general information purposes for staff. Its use for staff is restricted to critical incident situations and to be used at the discretion of the Critical Incident Director.
Use of this system during a Critical Incident should follow the Critical Incident Management Policy - 000828 and Critical Incident Management Procedure - 000829 and the associated Critical Incident Management Communication Procedure - 000914.
In using this system, consideration needs at all times to be given to the potential impact of sending bulk SMS messages. For example it is not to be used if the situation could be exacerbated by students/staff receiving alerts that are audible to others, or if any mobile phone use may increase risk in other ways.
The use of this system will be monitored on a regular basis to ensure that its impact as a critical incident communication tool is not diminished by the frequency of other messages.
|Policy Owner||University Secretary|
|Policy Contact||Director, Corporate Services|