Majority of USF Students Say They Feel Safe on Campus

Released on: October 24, 2008, 9:45 am

Press Release Author: Electronic Digital Media

Industry: Telecommunications

Press Release Summary: A new emergency alert system recently installed at the
University of South Florida aims to keep students notified of campus events,
breaking news stories, and emergency notifications. The system, which uses LCD
screens in prominent campus locations, can be updated in real time by
administrators. Nearly half of USF students report feeling safer on campus since the
system has been installed.

Press Release Body: TAMPA, FL, SEPTEMBER 25, 2008 --- A survey last week of
University of South Florida (USF) students showed that nearly half of the students
surveyed feel safe on campus, but are thankful for emergency alert systems in place.
The school currently uses text and email alerts and recently introduced LCD displays
in high traffic areas around campus for visual alerts.

These 40" LCD displays - named eDean(SM) -- display important information, such as:
news, weather, academic calendars, performing arts schedules, social calendars,
sports schedules, and special event times and locations. In an emergency, eDean can
display information and provide critical direction.

"eDean will let students know about upcoming events and maybe emergency issues,"
said Alecia, a freshman. "It will make all of the students more aware."

Last month, the president signed into law a bill that supports measures to improve
safety at institutions of higher learning, including that of communication systems.
eDean, or Electronic Dispatch for Emergency and Academic Notices, is a visual
communication tool providing school information and alerts 24/7 in such areas as the
library, bookstore, academic and dining areas. School officials manage and update
school information and alerts through a web portal.

Although the law, HR 4137, establishes federal grants to cover 50 percent of costs
for colleges related to implementing emergency systems to notify the campus
community of a significant emergency or dangerous situation through cellular, text
message, or other advanced communication, and to develop procedures for the
community to follow in case of an emergency or dangerous situation (Sec. 802), eDean
is provided at no cost. Business sponsors, who receive message space on the displays
in return, support the system.

eDean was used this past summer when a man with a rifle on USF's main campus caused
the University to activate an emergency message on the system. Ashley, a sophomore,
said she learned of the emergency before she received the text. For 30 minutes,
students and faculty were alerted on the new LCD display that there was the
possibility of danger and to avoid the area outside Cooper Hall and surrounding
buildings. The emergency was cancelled when it was determined that the "man carrying
a rifle" was an ROTC student carrying a practice rifle. The system carrying the
alert was immediately updated to let students know that no danger existed.

"USF has needed an emergency notification system for years. It's good for our
safety," said Stephanie, a 5th year student at the campus.

"I wish eDean had come to USF earlier!" said Crystal, a senior. "It makes knowing
campus information so much easier."

A Tampa company, Electronic Digital Media, launched the service this summer. Other
schools are in the process of installing displays, including Manatee Community
College, Saint Leo University, Florida Tech and the University of Houston. Current
sponsors at USF include OAI, WingStop, Dillard's, Washington Mutual, USF Federal
Credit Union, USF Bookstore, ACF, and philanthropist, Mrs. Jean Emplit. In addition,
companies can support a local charity by running messages for the charity on the
system in exchange for their sponsorship dollars. Current charities on eDean include
The Children's Home and the First Tee of Tampa Bay.

eDeanSM is a visual communication tool designed to support educational institutions
in their quest to provide students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors with
valuable information such as campus news and events, weather, emergency alerts and
more. With the support of sponsors, eDean is a cost-effective solution for
educational institutions to integrate their student communications and reduce paper
waste. With the existence of eDean (an on-campus notice system), sponsors finally
have an avenue to convey their brand or message to a high density, targeted
demographic otherwise reachable only by school newspapers. School officials have
access to update messages and trigger alerts within seconds via a secure web portal.
Created by Electronic Digital Media (, a Florida-based company,
eDean is currently in use at University of South Florida, University of Tampa and
Saint Leo University. For more information on eDean, call (813) 888-8796 or visit


Web Site:

Contact Details: Jan Luongo, APR
C: (813) 335-7625
O: (813) 978-1992 x.222

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