Text Messaging for Emergency Notification Moves to Opt-Out Process
In the interest of enhancing safety at Saint Louis University, SLU is moving to an "opt-out" method for emergency notification via text messaging.
"Text messaging is one of the fastest ways to share critical information during an emergency, when every second truly counts," said Roland Corvington, assistant vice president for public safety and emergency preparedness.
Previously, text messaging for emergency communications was available only by opting in for the service. Now, those who don't want to receive emergency text message alerts will need to opt out.
Corvington said the change was precipitated by a move last fall to a new emergency communications provider, Rave Wireless, which is considered an industry leader for mobile notifications.
Like before, emergency alerts will be sent when there is a dangerous condition on the St. Louis campus. Examples could include an active shooter situation, a building fire/evacuation or an approaching severe storm.
The University also conducts two annual tests of its emergency notification system, including text messaging. The next test is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27.
Those who choose to opt-out of text messaging will continue to receive a call to their cell phones; if they don't answer the call, a message will be left in their voicemail.
To ensure notification, faculty, staff and students should verify their contact information in Banner Self-Service. On the verification page, there is a box to check for those who wish to opt-out of text messaging. For help with this process, visit the ITS website.
It's also recommended that individuals save 314-977-2000 and 67283 as "SLU Emergency" in their cell phone contacts - these are the numbers the University's system uses for mobile alerts.
In addition to contacting students, faculty and staff via mobile devices, emergency notifications will be sent to SLU email addresses.
Emergency information also will be posted to the University's website as well as on television monitors located in buildings across the St. Louis campus.
DPSEP encourages members of the SLU community to follow them on Twitter, where emergency information is posted, too.
It's important to note that the University will not send unnecessary text messages to users' cell phones, and SLU's contract with Rave Wireless prohibits the company from ever sharing personal information.
Rave Wireless is affiliated with AT&T, which recently published a case study looking at emergency communications at SLU. The study is available on the AT&T website.
For more information about safety and security at Saint Louis University, visit dps.slu.edu.