With US universities seeking an immediate solution to emergency campus alerts in the wake of the Virginia Tech University tragedy, Mobile Campus has announced the availability of its free service capable of immediately and simultaneously alerting students, university employees and others via text message.
This service has already been deployed at 11 major campuses and is being used for real-time emergency alerts at institutions such as the University of Texas, University of Florida and Kent State University.
While the system can be used for a variety of important communications and notifications, including promotional offers, Mobile Campus has decided, in the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, to make the service available to students and others who want to opt into the system only for emergency alerts.
The free Mobile Campus service allows administrators and other qualified and approved groups on campus to send group SMS messages. The system has, so far, largely been used to notify students at participating universities of closures due to weather emergencies.
Mobile Campus is an excellent communications tool for our emergency notification system, said Rhonda Weldon, director of communications at the University of Texas. We know most students carry their cell phones with them and the simultaneous text message alert has been very effective for sending campus closure messages. We have integrated Mobile Campus into all of our emergency preparedness plans and will continue to use it along with many other tools for crisis communications.
There are more than 17 million college students at over 4,200 schools throughout the US, and an estimated 94% of them carry cell phones. As a result, Mobile Campus believes that SMS notification networks represent the best answer to student emergency communications and alerts.
The company is currently in talks with more than 60 universities around the country about deploying its free service and expects to be live on at least 50 campuses by the end of 2007.