April 18, 2007
SMS alert system on campus considered "Blue Sky" idea by Virginia Tech last September
With administrators at Virginia Tech facing hard questions about how long it took them to notify students after the first killings in Monday's shooting rampage there, emergency communication is sure to become a pressing issue nationwide, reports the WSJ.
"Emergency systems that include text messages are easily available and generally aren't very expensive -- some new pilot programs even are supported by advertising. Rhonda Weldon, a member of he University of Texas emergency communications team, says text messaging is particularly efficient because students carry their cellphones all the time."
Justin Oberma points out an article in The Roanoke Times, published last September reporting on university officials at Virginia Tech having met with University text message provider e2Campus. But Virginia Tech, like most schools, saw this as to much of an an innovative idea.
"We will certainly be investigating other kinds of communications vehicles,” Tech spokesman Larry Hincker said, though he cautioned that a text-messaging system was still a “blue sky idea” that would take investigation to implement."
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