The recent shootings on the campuses of the nation’s colleges have highlighted the need for college emergency response plans to handle such catastrophic events. New England College has long recognized its responsibility to provide for the safety and security of students, staff, and faculty on campus. In that regard, the College has drafted a basic emergency guideline – New England College Incident Action Plan (NECIAP) – to enhance the protection of lives and property through effective use of College and campus community resources. Realizing that situations change, the NECIAP is continually updated and periodic exercises are implemented to test and, if necessary, improve the operation of the plan.
The NECIAP is a lengthy document that is available to principles involved in the activation of the plan. An in-depth presentation of the document is beyond the scope of this introduction. There are, however, basic concepts of the plan (presented here) that parents and students of the College would be wise to become familiar with.
Upon confirmation of a significant event on the New England College campus, either man-made or natural, that endangers members of the College community or has the potential to cause serious damage to College facilities or property, the College’s emergency notification procedures will be activated.
Any one of several member of the NEC Emergency Response Group can serve as the College’s Incident Commander in the event of a campus emergency. When an emergency has been confirmed, the Incident Commander will immediately contact the Director of Public Information who will activate the following communication systems:
- Text message to the College community;* (optional participation)
- Email message to all faculty, staff, and students;
- Emergency notification on College’s website;
- Voicemail message to all faculty, staff, and students.
*We strongly recommend that all New England College community members sign up for our e2Campus Emergency Text Messaging Service. Please click here for sign-up instructions for this service.
For the duration of the emergency, the Director of Public Information will continue to update members of the College community as to the status of the event and the restoration of normal College functions.
In addition to the emergency notification systems available to the College, a siren may be sounded alerting the campus community and surrounding neighbors of a serious or potentially dangerous situation. If necessary, the siren will be sounded by a member of the Campus Facilities staff upon the direction of the Director of Campus Facilities and Planning.
In collaboration with the Incident Commander and the President of the College, the Director of Public Information will draft all messages to the community. The Director of Public Information will also serve as the College’s spokesperson and will respond to all inquiries by the media.
In addition to monthly meetings, periodic tabletop and live drills, and monthly fire evacuation drills in all residence halls, the Department of Campus Safety will conduct an annual test of all of its emergency notification systems including a test of:
- Text message emergency notification system
- Campus email notification system
- Website emergency notification system
- College’s voicemail system
- Campus siren.
A test of each of the above systems will be conducted prior to November 1st of each year and the campus community will be notified at least one week prior to the test as well as the day before the test is conducted
College Emergency Response Personnel:
- Incident Commander: (flexible assignment)
- Public Information Officer: NEC Director of Public Information
- Deputy Incident Commander (safety services): (flexible assignment)
- Deputy Incident Commander – logistics and supplies: (flexible assignment)
- Liaison Officer: As designated by the Incident Commander
- Agency Representative: As designated by the Incident Commander
There will be times when situations arise that affect the well being of the college community but do not require the implementation of the NECIAP. In those cases the College will utilize Timely Warnings to deal with situations or persons considered by the College to represent a serious or continuing threat to students and employees. Contained within the Timely Warnings will be information detailing the specifics of the threat, date and time of occurrence, geographic areas of the campus affected, and specific safety measures to provide for student and employee safety. While the United States Department of Education in the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 (Clery Act) specifies the release of timely warnings for Clery crime violations (see Clery Act this section), the College extends the warning to any crime that may endanger the welfare of the College community. The Director of Campus Safety and/or the Dean of Student Development may issues such Timely Warnings.
Similar in nature to Timely Warning but extending to a much broader scope of concern, the College also issues Emergency Notifications when it has been determined that there is a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on campus. Examples of immediate threats would include, but are not limited to, terrorist attack, natural disaster, environmental concerns, all hazards –not just Clery crimes, and other concerns that affect the well being of the College.