U Wyoming Adopts Emergency Alerts

The University of Wyoming has selected Rave Alert as its platform for sending emergency notifications to its campus community. Before buying the solution, the school did two tests of service. According to a statement by the company, in the second campus-wide test, 7,000 students, faculty and staff members received a text message on their cell phones. Of the students polled, nine out of 10 reported receiving the text messages within one minute; the longest wait was up to four minutes.

"In the two campus wide tests we have performed, the delivery rate of the messages has exceeded our expectations," said Jesse Ballard, instructional lab manager and administrator of the Rave Alert system at the university. "Text notification is a great way to get information out to students in a fast and reliable manner."

The amount of time required for delivery of messages has come under scrutiny recently with high-profile instances in which a messaging system reportedly took hours to deliver emergency alerts.

The school has branded its alert system as UW Alert. In an FAQ on its website, the university said it's unable to send to all cell phones, although the list of supported phone carriers displayed includes all major American carriers. The list of questions also mentions that the school's IT department is currently developing a method to automate the feeding of information provided during class registration to the vendor. Until then participants can choose to self-register online or be added manually by request by the IT department.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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