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UCR Emergency Notification System: Mobile Phone Number Verification

What You Need to Know
By Jake Poore |

 

To ensure that UCR’s Emergency Notification System (ENS) is effective in keeping all Highlanders safe and alert, Chancellor Wilcox has called for an update to our system. On December 9, 2019, all UCR faculty, staff, and students will be asked to verify their mobile phone number(s) on file in UCR's ENS. 

Below is a list of FAQs about this update.

What is the Emergency Notification System (ENS)?

  • The UCR Emergency Response System (ENS) is a mass notification system used to send text/SMS messages to students, faculty, and staff in the event of emergencies or dangerous situations that pose an immediate threat to the safety or wellbeing of our University community. 

 What changes are being made to the ENS during the update?

  • All cell phone numbers on file with the University will be imported into the campus ENS for emergency text/SMS notification purposes. This includes cell phone numbers on file in the Banner student system and the UCPath employee system.
  • On December 9, 2019, all UCR students, faculty, and staff will be asked to verify their cell phone number(s) on file in UCR's ENS. This request will come in the form of a pop-up window when the user attempts to log into the Central Authorization Service (CAS).
  • Moving forward, this ENS phone number verification process will repeat annually on September 15. 

Why are these changes being made?

  • The safety of our campus community is paramount. To ensure that UCR’s ENS is effective in keeping all Highlanders safe and alert, Chancellor Wilcox has called for an update to our system. By having the cell phone numbers of all students, faculty, and staff on file in the UCR ENS, we can ensure that our community is immediately alerted to any imminent danger or threat.   

Who will the update affect?

  • The ENS update will affect all current UCR students, faculty, and staff members, with the exception of UCR Extension (UNEX) students. 
  • UNEX students, as well as outside vendors and contractors, will not be prompted to confirm their cell phone numbers during the update and must manually opt into the ENS in order to receive emergency notifications. Directions on how to opt in will be provided to those specific groups.

How will the update impact students, faculty, and staff?

  • The first time a current student, faculty, or staff member logs in to UCR's Central Authentication Service (CAS) on or after December 9, they will see a pop-up window asking them to verify their cell phone number(s) on file for ENS purposes.
  • The ENS will pull from the University’s files to show an associated phone number and ask the user to confirm whether or not that number is their current personal cell phone number.  

What if the cell phone number is incorrect or I don't have a number on file?

  • If the phone number displayed in the pop-up window is incorrect or if you do not not currently have a cell phone number on file with the University, you will be prompted to update you Banner and/or UCPath account. Instructions on how to update your contact information in these systems can be found in the UCR ITS Knowledgebase (see Banner instructions; see UCPath instructions). 

Does it have to be a cell phone number?

  • Yes. Other numbers, such as those associated with landline phones or fax machines, cannot receive text/SMS messages and would therefore be useless in the event of an emergency.

What if I don’t have the time or ability to verify my number when prompted?

  • If for any reason you are unable to complete the verification process when initially prompted on December 9, you will have the option to postpone the verification process for 30 days by selecting the “Skip confirmation for 30 days” option. At the end of 30 days, you will receive another ENS cell phone verification prompt. 

Can I opt out of the ENS?

  • You can opt out of the ENS during the verification process but UCR strongly discourages opting out, as this system is critical to the safety and wellbeing of each member of our Highlander community
  • If you decide to opt out of the ENS by selecting "Opt out of ENS," you must confirm that you understand you will not receive text/SMS notifications in the event of an emergency situation on campus or in the surrounding neighborhood.

What can be done now to prepare for the update?

  • Proactively updating your cell phone information will allow you to quickly and easily confirm your mobile phone number when all of campus is prompted to do so on December 9, 2019. All faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to review and update their personal contact information on file with UCR as soon as possible. 
  • Students: Update your personal contact information in Banner Instructions
  • Faculty and Staff: Update your personal contact information in UCPath | Instructions

        *Student employees can update their information in both UCPath and Banner

Questions?

  • Please email BearHelp@ucr.edu or call 951-827-4848 (IT4U) if you have any questions or concerns.

Your safety and the safety of those around you is invaluable. Don’t be the last to know!