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Facilities management works to keep campus safe during winter

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Photo courtesy of csupueblo.edu
Photo courtesy of csupueblo.edu

The CSU-Pueblo Alert emergency system and the facilities management department aim to keep students and staff safe during dangerous winter conditions.

The emergency alert system began in the fall of 2008 when the university partnered with Rave Wireless to provide an emergency text-messaging program. In the event of an emergency, unexpected delay or closure due to inclement weather, a text message will be sent to all registered cell phones.

“The purpose of the program is to notify students and staff of a significant event on campus that they need to be informed of. These events can vary from power outages on campus or closures due to bad weather,” said Lt. William Brown of the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office.

In the event of a possible delay or closure due to winter weather or harsh driving conditions Brown monitors incoming storms and driving conditions.

“We start monitoring the weather the day before on what predictions of storms may be coming. In the early mornings I check to see how the roads are. I check with our 911 center to see how traffic is. From there I call the associate vice president of the university, and then we talk to the president and vice to make a decision,” Brown said.

Students, faculty and staff can register for this program at any time through the CSU-Pueblo website. Students can sign on to their PAWS account and select the Emergency Text tab. Faculty and staff can sign in through their Employee Portal account and also register through the Emergency Text tab.

Brown said there are 3,408 registered users in the program. He encourages students, faculty and staff who have not registered to do so. The program plays an important role in providing critical information in the event of an emergency, he said.

In the event of the university remaining open during winter weather conditions, students and staff are advised to drive carefully.

“We have a grounds department to plow the streets and to lay down a sand and salt mixture in the early morning. The facilities team works hard to provide safe driving conditions on campus,” said Deborah Proctor, campus project planner.

Proctor urges students to drive carefully and to give themselves extra time to get to class.

“Drive slow especially through parking lots and be courteous to other students. Making sure your car is ready for winter is key too,” Proctor said.

The custodial and grounds crew shovel and de-ice the sidewalks on campus.

“The students are our eyes and ears out there. We need their help so we can provide a safe campus,” Proctor said.

To report slick sidewalks, students can call the facilities department at (719)-549-2211.