Berklee Emergency Notification System (BENS)
The Berklee Emergency Notification System (BENS) is a mass notification system that has the ability to send electronic messages to the Berklee community. When an immediate threat or emergency occurs, or is about to occur, BENS will be used to communicate to those who may be negatively affected by the incident. This notification will allow members of our community to take the necessary actions to protect themselves.
The Jeanne Clery Act dictates when certain notifications are to be sent, including the following:
- Timely warnings: The Clery Act requires Berklee to issue timely warnings of crimes that represent a threat to the safety of students and staff. Berklee is only required to notify the community of crimes which are covered by the Clery statistics. These crimes include:
- criminal homicide,
- sexual assault,
- aggravated assault,
- burglary, and
- Emergency notifications: In the event of an immediate, significant danger to the health or safety of the campus community (e.g., severe weather, a disease outbreak, or an armed intruder), campus officials may issue an emergency notification. This notification can include the entire campus or be limited to a specific area deemed to be at risk.
Berklee will issue a timely warning or emergency notification for all of the above crimes that occur on campus. On campus, as defined by the Clery Act, is any property owned, leased, or controlled by Berklee as well as the sidewalk outside of the property, the street, and the sidewalk immediately across the street. For the purpose of BENS notifications, Berklee considers any area within approximately two blocks of a campus building to be on campus. Berklee may also issue a BENS notification for crimes taking place near or off campus, depending on the nature of the incident and its potential impact on the Berklee community. Please see this map delineating BENS boundaries and this color-coded chart, which Public Safety utilizes in its BENS decision-making process.
If an incident occurs but the suspect has been detained or there is no ongoing threat, an alert is not mandatory unless a continued police presence in the area necessitates such a message in order to ease concerns and inform the community.
Public Safety will typically issue BENS messages by SMS (text) and email. The text message is limited to 160 characters, which might explain why the information in the text is limited compared to the email. At times, Public Safety will issue multiple text messages depending on the nature and complexity of an incident.
If a community member is the victim of a crime or would like to report a crime for the purposes of issuing a BENS notification, that person should call Public Safety immediately at 617-747-8888 or text the Berklee Police Dispatcher through the Rave Guardian app. To be notified about incidents in and around Boston, Public Safety encourages everyone to follow local public safety agencies on Twitter such as the following:
Submit or Update BENS Contact Information
- Go to my.berklee.edu.
- Click the "Log In" button on the right.
- Enter your user ID and password, and click the "Submit" button.
- Click the "Student" button on the right.
- Click on the "Notifications" link under the "Contact Information Section."
- Enter your personal contact information as requested. You may also provide cell phone numbers and email addresses for parents and family members (Conservatory students should see the instructions below for PowerCampus). Note that BENS can only send SMS/text messages to U.S. cell phone numbers.
- Log in to PowerCAMPUS Self Service.
- Update your personal contact information under the "My Profile" tab. For detailed instructions, please visit this page.
- Parents of Conservatory students wishing to receive email notifications should have their student set up email forwarding. Detailed instructions can be found here. Parents wishing to receive text notifications may register here.
- Log in to Workday.
- Select the "Personal Information" application.
- In the Change column, select "Contact Information."
- Select "Edit" at the top left, below your name.
- Edit or add your primary or additional phone number(s) and email.
- Select the checkmark box on the right to approve your update.
- Select the "Submit" option at the bottom of the page to save your changes.
BENS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes. Students should add contact information for parents and families along with their own information. International students can include additional email addresses, but unfortunately the BENS system cannot call or text international phone numbers. See the detailed instructions for your particular student above. Parents and families are also encouraged to follow Berklee Public Safety on Twitter and Facebook.
An emergency is when a serious crime, a natural event such as weather, or a man-made emergency occurs or is about to occur that poses an immediate threat to the Berklee community or its assets.
Berklee's Public Safety Department is responsible for the creation and dissemination of messages.
Current students, faculty, and staff will receive alerts through various means: email, SMS, social media.
These are the primary text numbers for the BENS system. We recommend that you create and save a BENS contact profile in your phone with these numbers.
Having more than one way for Berklee to contact you helps ensure that you will be sent the necessary notification and information as quickly as possible.
To add or update your BENS contact information, please see the above sections.
The information you provide will only be used for the purpose of emergency notification.
No. Text messages will only be sent to 10-digit telephone numbers within the United States. However, email messages can be sent to any valid email address.
They will all contain the most important information and instructions. Because of length limitations, the text message will be shorter. You may incur a charge for text messages, depending on your service provider and calling plan.
No. Once your phone number has been registered, it stays in the system.