Communications Center
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Frequently asked questions

Below is a list of commonly asked questions related to the Communications Center. Please browse through this list to see if your question already has been answered. Each question is hyperlinked at the top of the page, with the full responses to all questions directly below.

If your question is not answered here, please contact complete this feedback form or e-mail us at commcenter@bsu.edu.

What is the Communications Center?

The Communications Center is Ball State's answer to improving delivery of internal communications to the campus in a manner that cuts down on the number of university-produced e-mails that reach your inbox.

It was created in response to students' desires to have more control over the way the university communicates with them, not only via e-mail but other forms of electronic communication as well.

The first phase of the initiative focuses on three key components:

The first component is the Communications Center Web site. It is a one-stop shop that promotes all campus goings-on. Visitors can review, by category, announcements that have been submitted by approved publishers.

The second component is the Ball State Digest, delivered to the inboxes of students, faculty and staff twice weekly on Mondays and Thursdays. One version goes to faculty and staff; another to students. The digest is a round-up of timely announcements containing content generated through the Communications Center Web site.

The third component is Manage My Subscriptions, a permission-based interface accessible from the Communications Center Web site that allows users to manage e-mail and RSS feeds and choose to opt out of unwanted e-mail. Subscriptions to emergency text messaging are handled at
www.bsu.edu/emergencytext.


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Why did Ball State create the Communications Center?

The university created the Communications Center in response to the needs of students, faculty and staff who felt they were receiving too many mass e-mails from the university and from particular offices and individuals on campus.

The Communications Center streamlines internal communications at Ball State, providing a more efficient and effective method for the university to share and receive timely announcements, news and information.

The Communications Center Web site is a single online source of this information and—along with the twice-weekly Ball State Digest—consolidates hundreds of mass e-mails broadcast to the university community each year.

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Who can answer questions regarding the Communications Center?

If you have a question about how to use the Communications Center, please review our Frequently Asked Questions section to see if your answer can be found there. If not, contact us at commcenter@bsu.edu or consider completing our feedback form.

If you are having a technical problem with the service, such as the page will not display, please notify the HelpDesk

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Who's using the Communications Center?

The target audience for the Communications Center is all students, faculty and staff on campus.
 
Guests to the university's Web site, parents, distance learning students, and Ball State alumni are welcome to review the contents of the Communications Center Web site, but the material published there will be tailored to news, events and information directly meant for the current on-campus community.

E-mail routed through the Communications Center is available only to students, faculty and staff. Anyone can subscribe to the Communications Center's RSS feeds.

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Can parents or alumni sign up for the Communications Center?

The target audience for the Communications Center is all students, faculty and staff on campus.
 
Guests to the university's Web site, parents, distance learning students, and Ball State alumni are welcome to review the contents of the Communications Center Web site, but the material published there will be tailored to news, events and information directly meant for the current on-campus community.

E-mail routed through the Communications Center is available only to students, faculty and staff. RSS feeds are available to anyone.

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What kind of content gets published on the Communications Center?

The content published on the Communications Center Web site (and replicated in the twice-weekly Ball State Digest and e-mail subscriptions) is news and events relevant to the campus community such as upcoming lectures, news from a college or department on campus, activities planned for a student organization, or information about parking lot closures.

Content is published by category. There are 19 main categories on the site where messages can be created, with each category also having subcategories that help further define the content housed there.

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Why are there no photos or video on the Communications Center?

This system is an evolving tool and process. Such feature additions and improvements will be made over time. If you have thoughts or suggestions for the Communications Center, please complete this feedback form.
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I am a faculty or staff member. How do I submit content to the Communications Center?

All faculty and staff can publish to the Campus Bulletin Board category. This replaces ALLBSU and the Employee Bulletin Board. To publish content to this category, return to the Communications Center home page and click on "Publish Content."

Content for all other categories is published by authorized publishers as designated by department chairs and unit heads.

If you need to publish news or information to other categories of the Communications Center, contact your department head or division leader and request the name(s) of your department's publishers.

Requests for publishing rights must come from the department head or division leader and should be e-mailed to commcenter@bsu.edu.
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I am a student. How do I submit content to the Communications Center?

Students can publish to certain subcategories of the Campus Bulletin Board. To publish content to this category, return to the Communications Center home page and click on "Publish Content."

Content for all other categories is published by authorized university employees.

Students wanting to publish content to the Communications Center should e-mail commcenter@bsu.edu for more information.
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Will University Marketing and Communications publish stories for me?

The Communications Center is a self-publishing site. Category publishers are responsible for the accuracy and clarity of the content created for the Web site, Ball State Digest and e-mail subscriptions.

If you are a designated publisher for a category and need help publishing content, contact Gail Werner, Communications Center administrator, to request training materials to assist you in the process.

University Marketing and Communications is not responsible for publishing departmental-level content to the Communications Center.
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What if I receive an e-mail I don't want or think is spam?

E-mail remains an official means of communication of the university. There are certain e-mails that are not optional. Examples include emergency e-mails, business critical communications, e-mails from the president, the twice-weekly Ball State Digest, and administrative e-mails necessary for faculty and staff to carry out their responsibilities.

If you receive e-mail that you believe does not fall into one of these categories and is spam, please forward it to abuse@bsu.edu. This will help us to continue refining permissions to the Communications Center over time.
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What about emergency notifications?

The campus community will continue to receive direct emergency e-mail communications from the university that do not require them to subscribe. Emergency text messaging is available by subscription through the Communications Center Web site or by visiting www.bsu.edu/emergencytext.

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What should I do if I receive an emergency notification from Ball State?

You should take the message very seriously as this system is only be used when there is an immediate situation that needs your attention, for example a weather cancellation or an imminent threat to your safety. Follow the instructions provided and take immediate action. 

As a student or employee, it is also important to know that the emergency text message is only one communication method the university will use during a crisis. Information—including safety instructions for students, faculty, and staff—will be made available to the campus community through:
  • E-mail
  • Ball State Web site
  • Campus voice mail
  • Local radio and TV stations

Prepare Yourself
Although college campuses are usually safe places, emergencies and disasters can happen. Your own preparedness as an individual is a critical component of emergency preparedness and response. 

Ball State offers an Emergency Response Web site to help you learn what you should do in various circumstances.

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Who can subscribe to emergency text messages?

Ball State students, faculty, and staff with a valid Ball State username and password are eligible to register.

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Can I get emergency notifications by both e-mail and text message?

Yes. By default, all Ball State students, faculty, and staff receive emergency notifications to their Ball State e-mail accounts. You do not have the ability to opt out of this, but you can also sign up receive emergency notifications by text message to your cell phone. To do so, visit www.bsu.edu/emergencytext.
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Could I receive emergency notifications in the middle of the night?

Yes, if they are of an emergency nature.
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Is delivery guaranteed?

In most scenarios, notifications should get through quickly to subscribers. However, it is important to remember that if a major crisis occurred, land-line phones, Web communications, and cell phone systems can become overpowered in the deluge of traffic that takes place during and immediately after an event.

There are many steps and many systems that lie in between Ball State sending a notification and you receiving it to your preferred device. Ball State will take every measure it can to get messages through, but it is also important for you to be aware of alternative means the university will have to communicate during an emergency, such as:

•    Emergency warning systems
•    E-mail
•    Ball State Web site
•    Campus voice mail
•    Local radio and TV stations

To be completely prepared for an emergency, we recommend you review our Emergency Response Web site.

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Will I be charged for text messages from Ball State?

Yes. Any fees for text messaging that your mobile provider charges you will be applicable in this situation.
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Will I receive an emergency notification every time there is a fire alarm in a campus building?

No. The emergency notification system is used very judiciously.

In relation to fire alarms, all campus buildings are equipped with audible fire alarms to notify building occupants to evacuate. 

Ball State’s emergency notification system is used for those situations that involve an imminent crisis involving the safety of people and when there is no other quick way to alert people of danger. Or, in the case of a tornado warning, when people may be in indoor locations where it is difficult to hear the outside siren.

The notification system is used as one way to communicate to the campus about critical information such as weather cancellations or widespread power outages.

Emergency notifications are issued only from official Ball State sources such as university police or university marketing and communications staff – not individual professors or staff members.
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Will I receive information other than emergency notifications from the Communications Center?

Yes, but to a certain extent you now have the ability to manage that information.

All faculty, staff and students will receive the twice-weekly Ball State Digest in their inboxes each week, but everyone now can go to "Manage My Subscriptions" from the Communications Center home page to opt in and out of e-mails sent out from the categories of the Communications Center. This will be your way to keep up with the information you want and filter out what you don’t want.
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Will my information be sold to telemarketers?

No. Neither Ball State nor our vendors will share or sell contact information belonging to anyone using the Communications Center.
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