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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Members of the Medford/Somerville campus may have been jolted awake early Sunday morning by a TuftsAlert:

In the ensuing hours several follow up messages were sent, which you can read in Summary of Messages from May 31, 2015 Emergency Alert. We received some inquiries after the alert, and would like to answer some of the most common questions here. We’re only discussing the alert and communications, not the investigation.

Why was an alert sent?

A notification may be sent any time there is a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of a Tufts campus. See the complete Emergency Notification Policy for further details.

Why did the alert say, “Go to a room, lock door, stay away from windows“? (added June 3, 2015)

Alert messages are pre-scripted and provide a set of protective action instructions applicable to a range of situations.

Why did I receive an alert?

The alert was sent to members of the Medford/Somerville campus, including students, faculty, and staff. We know many people leave campus during the summer, and even fewer are likely to be on campus early on a Sunday morning, but we’re also keenly aware that Tufts is a 24-hour enterprise with people coming and going at all hours. Since we can’t know who is on campus and who isn’t, we err on inclusion since many students remain in the area for the summer, and staff and faculty are known to be on campus at any hour.

Why did I receive a call at home?

We send emergency alerts to all email addresses and phone numbers in your record in TuftsAlert. If your home number is in TuftsAlert, you would have received a call at that number. You can update your contact information at any time by visiting if you’d like to add or remove a particular phone number.

How did my phone number get into the alert system?

All phone numbers in TuftsAlert are contributed by you. Newer students may have submitted their emergency contact information when they registered for their Tufts email account. Community members at Tufts before August 2013 submitted their contact information to Send Word Now, the system that was in use before TuftsAlert. You can update your contact information at any time by visiting

I just graduated in May 2015 but received the alert. What happened?

Graduates remain in TuftsAlert for about three months, or until late August. If you’d like to remove yourself now, visit to delete your telephone contact information.

I no longer work for/attend the university but still received an alert. What happened?

Students may continue with the university in different capacities, or occasionally a student record isn’t deactivated after graduation or withdrawal. Sometimes employee records are continued as “active” for various reasons, and particularly in the case of temporary employees the record may not have been deactivated upon departure. Visit to see if you’re still active in the university directory, which is a good indication of why you’re still active in TuftsAlert. Contact your former registrar (students) or supervisor (employees), or email for help deactivating your record if you’re no longer at Tufts but still appear in the White Pages and TuftsAlert.

How do I get out of the alert system?

Tufts email address are automatically enrolled in TuftsAlert and cannot be removed, but, you must provide your telephone contact information to be included in the system. You can update or remove your telephone contact information at any time by visiting Of course, we strongly encourage you to keep your text-capable mobile number, if you have one, in TuftsAlert.

Where can I get more information about what to do in an emergency?

Please take a look at the Emergency Response Guide. Print copies are available by request. Emergency information is also available in additional languages:

I’m a parent. How can I get emergency alerts from Tufts?

TuftsAlert is used to reach students, faculty, and staff. To communicate with parents, the university maintains a separate email list. Click Parents Email List to sign up online. An update to parents was emailed on Sunday morning to current list subscribers.

My question isn’t answered here.

Please contact us online or by email to