By Caroline Nickolaus
Does it help to receive text and email alerts to your mobile device from LIU Post about campus-wide closings, delayed starts, power outages, and other pertinent information? According to the school’s website, the LIU Post Emergency Alert System is designated to inform students on their official website, via e-mail, text messages or social media sites in the moment of an emergency.
Smartphones are in almost every student’s hands nowadays, so it seems like it just makes sense to send a quick text message, notifying students when the LIU Post community needs to spread important news. I think that getting an automatic text message alert regarding the LIU Post campus is a great tool. Simplicity is key when people are busy, especially students in college. Rather than having to log onto the school website or local news station website and search for the page that might announce a school closing due to inclement weather, one can simply check their phone. This feature is not only compatible to students, but faculty and other employees within the LIU Post community, as well.
The other great aspect of text message alerts is the speed in which the information will get to the people who need it the most— students and faculty. Let’s face it; we are constantly checking our cell phones throughout the day. If the news was posted on the LIU Post website, it is unlikely everyone will check and see the vital information on a timely manner.
One possible downside some people might find with the automatic text alert system is that it may not pertain to them in certain situations. For example, if a commuter is at home and he or she receives an alert about a certain residence hall not having power, it would not matter to them. However, I believe disregarding a text and simply deleting it is way better than not receiving a message about an emergency event that does affect you. Also, timeliness is important when sending students texts about cancelled classes. For example, some commuter students might already be on their way to school when they receive the message.
Text message alerts are not the only way the campus will notify students and faculty of an emergency event. Sirens are another means to communicate that there might be a threat on campus. According to the school’s website, “The outdoor sirens and loudspeakers are activated during a potentially life-threatening event such as weather-related emergencies or a hazardous materials spill from a traffic accident. The system is designed to most effectively communicate with people who are outdoors such as students playing on our athletic fields or walking from one classroom building to another or visitors attending events at the campus.”
So, do you like getting a text message about possible emergencies that take place on campus? Or would you rather get the notification only via email or a social media website, such as Facebook and Twitter? Let us know; we want to hear your input! Email your thoughts and opinions on this issue to firstname.lastname@example.org.