Text-messaging service boosts security

In response to the tragedy at Virginia Tech, campus safety remains a top concern for administrators around the country.Advances in technology at TCU and other universities are being used to keep students and staff informed.

Administrators at Virginia Tech were scrutinized for failing to alert students when student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people before turning his gun on himself in April.

But administrators at Delaware State University didn’t make the same mistake.

Friday morning two students were shot and injured at Delaware State University and campus officials responded within 20 minutes of the shooting, according to an article by the Associated Press.

Students were alerted to the incident by telephone, the university Web site and flyers, among other things.

Clearly, timeliness is a major component in keeping any school safe in the event of a crisis.

TCU is taking the current campus safety plan a step further.

The university is planning to incorporate campus-wide text messaging to alert students to an emergency situation, said Tracy Syler-Jones, associate vice chancellor for marketing and communication.

This text-messaging service, TCU ALERT, will also inform students instantly of pertinent university information and weather-related school closures, Syler-Jones said.

Students are constantly looking at their cell phones – even in the classroom – so using cell phones to send out important information just makes sense.

“After Virginia Tech, I don’t think there was a single college campus that didn’t re-evaluate their campus safety,” Syler-Jones said.

TCU ALERT is one more method to alert the campus to emergency situations and will “certainly enhance what we currently have,” she said.

TCU should be applauded for their efforts to ensure the safety of the campus community.

Opinion editor Sonya Cisneros for the editorial board.