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,
    • robbery,
    • aggravated assault,
    • burglary, and
    • arson.
  • 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:

You may also follow the following accounts, which post information about safety in and around the Boston area (but note that Public Safety does not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of posts by any of the accounts linked below):

Submit or Update BENS Contact Information

Students

 

Faculty/Staff

 

BENS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)