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Colleges Use Texting To Warn Students

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Colleges across the country are implementing or have implemented text- based messaging systems in order to communicate with students in the event of an emergency.

 Colleges Use Texting To Warn Students
Colleges Use Texting To Warn Students

In response to the Virginia Tech murders, colleges are reaching out to those who specialize in text- messaging systems. One such company is Omnilert, based in Leesburg, VA, which is now supplying over 250 colleges and universities with instant messaging capability through a system called e2Campus.

S. Daniel Carter, senior vice president of Security on Campus, a nonprofit organization based in King of Prussia, Pa., told the AP, "Nearly every major college and university in the country is either in the process of implementing a text message warning system or seriously considering do it."

At the University of Wisconsin, the school sent out bulk emails and bought an ad on Facebook to alerts students of a suicidal gunman who was on campus. University officials paid Facebook $100 to post a flier on the school’s social network. The ad instructed users to click on a link so they could stay informed about the search for the gunman.

While getting the word out in an emergency is important it can also present some challenges. James F. McShane, associate vice president for public safety at Columbia University told the New York Times that it can be difficult to create a message in a chaotic moment.

"You don’t know who’s out there," he said. "If you tell people to run, you’re telling people to abandon secure cover without really knowing what the risks are."

Even with the challenges that mass communication presents schools are taking advantage of the technology that is available in order to better communicate with students in the event of a crisis.

Colleges Use Texting To Warn Students
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    In times of emergency, this kind of technology might save the day.

  • http://www.DebtHelpIdeas.com Birdie

    What a great idea! There can never be too many ways to let people know about emergency situations! I think this is very smart of college administrators. Let’s face it, in this day and age, you can probably find more people carrying their cell phone with them then their wallets even :) I know it’s the first thing I grab even before my purse! I personally subscribe to emergency alert services for weather and disasters and appreciate those kinds of services. If I still had kids at college, I would definitely appreciate knowing they had that as a service. And on top of all that, it’s very inexpensive! What a great way to save lives AND save money :) :) :)

  • http://songwritingtips.org/ How to Write a Song

    in emergency situation texting is the best and fast way to inform lots of people.

  • Linda Brooks

    I think this is a great idea, especially with the recent increase in violence on our campuses. Since 99% of college students are never without their cell phones, students from one side of a campus can be alerted virtually immediately to dangers arising in any other areas.
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