Frequently Asked Questions

What will the MSU Alert system be used for?

  • This system is controlled by the MSU Police Department and will be used to broadcast emergency messages. General information messages may be sent as “outreach” messages.

Is this system reliable?

  • While there is no perfect system, we believe this one is close. Blackboard Connect-Ed has many partnerships in place with telecommunication service providers, including cellular networks, which enable the fast delivery of messages to large communities like ours. The system is used by many peer institutions and receives accolades on performance.  Even though the MSU Alert System is designed to deliver a large quantity of messages as rapidly as technology allows, messages may be delayed by your phone, Internet, and/or cellular service providers.

How come I did not get an alert but my friend did?

  • Students must be enrolled in the current semester to be in the alert contact database. When classes end, the database is updated so that you do not receive an alert after you’ve left the university. You may opt to create a guest account if you wish to continue receiving alerts. Your friend may have received the alert if they are enrolled in the current semester.

How much does it cost?

  • There is no charge to the community for use of this system. However, your wireless service provider calling plan contract may not include free text messaging services and you may be charged to receive a text message. Please check with your wireless service provider for more information on text messaging fees. We cannot provide refunds or payments for your text messaging service.

When will alerts be sent?

  • MSU Alert will be used to notify you of situations that present a threat to your safety. This includes, but is not limited to, terrorism, tornadoes, health afflictions, and hazardous material spills.

What should I do if I receive an alert message?

  • First, follow the instructions contained within the message. Messages may contain evacuation information or guidelines on “securing in place.” Details on where to find additional information will usually be included with the alert too. Next, “pass it on.” Spread the word and tells those around you about the alert. For more information on seeking shelter and “securing in place,” please visit the Emergency Management section on the MSU Police website.

When setting up my login, what is a REFERENCE ID?

  • Reference ID is your MSU NET ID. This is the first part of your MSU email address before the @msu.edu. For example, the REFERENCE ID for sparty@msu.edu is sparty.

After I log-in, how do I “edit” my information. The screen only asks if the listed information is mine.

  • Updating your information is a quick 4 step process. Step 1 only includes pre-loaded information. If you would like to submit additional contact information, the opportunity to do so will follow in step 2.

My home landline is listed as my cell, does this matter?

  • The label used for each number does not affect any messaging. In step 4, you will be asked to set your preferences for each contact number you have listed.

How can I stop receiving messages from this system?

  • The Clery Act requires MSU to send you timely warnings and emergency notifications. During step 2 of the portal configuration, you may set your message delivery methods to those that best suit your needs.

How can I uncheck the “EMERGENCY” subscription box in the portal so I do not get emergency messages?

  • Short answer: you can’t. The emergency notification system requires notification to our community in the event of an emergency as outlined by the Clery Act. This is a default setting that may not be changed.

What is the Clery Act?

  • The Clery Act requires an institution to alert the campus community to certain crimes in a manner that is timely and will aid in the prevention of similar crimes. The intent of a warning regarding a criminal incident is to enable people to protect themselves.

What is an “Outreach” message and the subscription option for “Outreach” messages?

  • An outreach message is a non-life threatening situation that may affect the MSU community i.e. winter storms, road closures, and other safety information. These outreach messages will be sent using extreme care and diligence.