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SHU Receives Students' Anonymous Tips via Text Message

Students at Siena Heights University (SHU), a private Roman Catholic university, can send anonymous tips to the campus safety dispatch office, thanks to a new tool recently deployed at the Adrian, MI campus.

Called uTip by e2Campus, the new service enables anyone with a cell phone to alert the safety office about crimes or potential crimes taking place on campus, without exposing their identity.

"If they don't feel comfortable calling or coming to talk to us, they can use this text-based service to get in contact with us in a way that's convenient for them," said Peter Ossmann, assistant director of emergency management at Siena Heights University, in a prepared statement released this week by e2Campus. "There is little risk in exposing themselves as the tipper. They just pick up their cell phone, type in our keyword and their tip, and hit send. The tips come right to our emails and phones as text messages in seconds."

To make the campus community aware of its new service, the school created marketing promotions based on Department of Homeland Security's 'If You See Something, Say Something' campaign, according to Ossman. "We had our graphics department create consistent flyers, signage, and advertising across the campus to make it memorable for people to use," Ossman explained. "We used the acronym of our university and the word 'tips' to come up with the mobile keyword 'SHUTIPS'."

So far, the safety office has received tips each month. SHU now has two tipping systems, one for the entire campus and one specifically for athletics. The school created a separate mobile keyword, 'SHUFAN', for home sporting events and posted signs at the stadium to promote the service.

More information about uTip is available at e2campus.com.

About the Author

Kanoe Namahoe is online editor for 1105 Media's Education Group. She can be reached at knamahoe@1105media.com.

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