Jury still out on new messaging service
CU has just signed an $18,000 contract for a new emergency text messaging system.
The text messaging service, provided by a company called Rave Alert, will send updates to student cell phones regarding campus closures, severe weather and other campus emergencies.
The system will allow the CU administration to send a 132-character text to registered phones. There could potentially be a series of follow-up messages to obtain more information on the Internet, radio or TV.
It will cost the university an additional 6 cents for each individually completed message to be sent. If all 28,624 students were registered for this service, it would cost the university $1,717 for each alert sent to the student body.
Students received their first text message alert when student Michael Knorps was stabbed at the UMC last week.
Kyle Waldrop, a junior classics major, said he does not plan to sign up for the text message alerts and feels the text messages are a waste of the university’s money.
“I don’t think the text messages are going to help anyone. E-mail is just as effective since students check it so often anyway. An instant text message about a stabbing is more likely to cause a panic than do anyone any good,” Waldrop said.
Natalie Hutchison, a junior integrative physiology and psychology major, feels the text alerts would be very helpful.
“I think it’s a great idea as long as they didn’t send them all the time,” Hutchison said.
Hutchison said she thinks the text alerts should be a part of student tuition or student fees.
“If they didn’t send them out often, or only for emergencies, it couldn’t be too expensive,” she said.
Heather Schultz, a sophomore international affairs major, said she thinks the text alerts are helpful, but that students without text service still have just as effective ways to get information about school emergencies.
“It’s a luxury if you have the alerts, but if you don’t have texting, there are other ways to check for alerts,” Schultz said.
To register to receive these emergency messages, students can sign up online at www.colorado.edu/alerts.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Betsy Oyler at email@example.com.