Text alert system improved for students

Mercyhurst is unveiling a new text alert system designed to provide students with important campus information.

The emergency notifications include severe weather alerts, emergency situations, school closing, and also information regarding dangerous situations such as burglaries in the area surrounding campus. Should a significant event on or near campus occur that requires immediate attention, this system will disseminate the necessary information.

Jenna Dascanio, who designed the new text alert campaign for Student Life, explained that the system, E2Campus, had been present for seven years, but was recently renovated.

A new graphic and social media campaign were designed to catch student and employee attention.

“Every year we try to get new people enrolled,” said Laura Zirkle, Vice President for Student Life. “We want to get that critical number signed up so we can get word out quickly.”

“In cases of emergencies, it’s the timing and responsiveness that matter,” Zirkle said. “You used to have to wait for an official statement to come out, but we’ve learned that the quicker we can get information out in these situations, the better.”

While some schools use similar systems to alert students of campus events such as new dining hall hours, sporting events or even sales at the bookstore, Mercyhurst will not. “We save it for serious instances,” Zirkle said, “we don’t want it to turn into another notification that is easy to delete without reading.”

This system is used strictly for emergencies and important information. “The system is not just for students. Staff, administrators, and faculty are encouraged to enroll as well,” Dascanio said. “It’s about keeping the Mercyhurst community informed so they can stay safe and make informed decisions,” Dascanio said.