Emergency text messages alert students of danger on campus

In order to keep students safe, Mercyhurst College is required to notify students of any threats on or near campus.

This is why Mercyhurst offers the E2Campus Emergency Messaging System.

This text alert system was implemented in 2007 and has been widely used since then.

“The whole idea is a really good way to inform students. A lot of people have texting and will receive the message quickly,” Sophomore Laura Fiegelist said,

The system reaches almost half of campus with its 1,343 active users. Although, 2,500 people are signed up, various reasons, such as cell phone numbers changing, may have made several accounts inactive.

“As long as we reach some, they will alert others,” said Administrative Assistant for Student Life Nadine Bower. “We just want to reach as many people as possible.”

The system has been used for two real alerts and one timely notification. The notification was sent on Monday. Read the story Female student nearly abducted for more details.

The first alert was during the construction of The Warde Residence Hall in 2009. A rough storm hit the area causing many shingles to blow off the roof, which put nearby students in danger. The alert was sent instantly, and no one was injured.

The second text notification was during a chemical spill on the third floor of Zurn Hall last year. Everyone was evacuated safely, and again there were no injuries. Students were then allowed to re-enter the building several hours later.

A text alert was also sent out this year on Nov. 4, but this was merely a test to make sure the system was working properly.

“We just wanted to make people aware of the system with the test run, and it worked,” Bower said.

The only issue the system has faced is students misreading the first text sent and not replying. If the student does not reply, the system will not activate for the user.

“I’m not signed up for the system; however, I think it’s a great way to alert students of emergencies,” said Sophomore Kaylyn Stack.

The system has remained about the same throughout the years with minor updates to remove students who have graduated or who have expired accounts. The layout is also the same, though an e-mail was added, and the message now appears on the portal.

“I’m signed up for the text alert system, and I like knowing that if an incident should occur on campus I’ll know right away,” said sophomore Lisa Guest.

The alert system doesn’t just inform students and employees on the Mercyhurst campus.

Several parents have asked to sign up to receive the text messages in order to be quickly informed of possible danger at Mercyhurst, according to Bower.

Visit the Mercyhurst Portal and click on Residence Life and Student Conduct under the Campus Life menu in order to sign up for the E2Campus Emergency Messaging System.