On October 29, the Faculty Senate held a meeting that discussed the concerns and issues about the power shutoffs.
The President was not present in this meeting, but one concern was whether or not the campus would receive generators to generate power during power shutoffs.
Solar power was brought up as a potential solution to future power shutoffs, but that notion was dismissed due to solar power being tied to the grid that SoCal Edison controls. Furthermore, solar power would not be enough to support a building.
The Senate promoted visiting the Internet to receive updates in regards to emergencies. When decisions are made regarding the campus, Blackboard is used to send out texts and e-mails and there are posts uploaded on sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
While the campus used to have a voicemail, the Great Shakeout event proved that the voicemail method of communication is ineffective. It was reported that the voicemail messaging system took two hours to get through, which was considered too long by the Senate to release a message.
With CSUSB being a commuter campus, the Senate brought up the idea of making sure faculty and students receive updates at around 7:00 p.m. the night prior to whether campus would remain open or not. Considering that many leave their homes at around 6:00 a.m. and travel “an enormous distance to get to campus, work, and so on”, mentioned Senator Fischman, the Senate’s question remains if there is an easier way for student and faculty communication.
Deputy Chief Information and Chief Information Security Officer, Gerard Au informed that the university is working on a new platform called “Teams” with Microsoft that is should be piloting soon to help make student and faculty communication easier. “It is almost like a social media platform, where you can get postings, as well as chat with one another,” said Vice President for ITS.
The Senate also discouraged having a system where phones would go off. While phones going off in the events of high winds and power shutoffs would not be an issue, it would be should there be an active shooter on campus and people are trying to find a safe place to hide.
Although there is still room for improvement, Librarian Jill Vassilakos-Long mentioned that on her down the elevator and back to her office, she could “hear students talking about how campus will be closed the following day and was really impressed on how ITS was able to reach everybody”.
More information will be discussed at the next Senate Faculty meeting in January 2020.