Officials look to increase campus alert users

University officials want to raise the number of students registered to receive campus alerts through text messages, a university official said.

The number of students enrolled in the TCU ALERT system fluctuates as new students enroll each year, but about 78 percent of faculty and staff and 69 percent of students have registered their cell phone numbers, Lisa Albert, director of communications, wrote in an e-mail.

“I expect an increase in registration because of our marketing efforts encouraging the system,” she wrote.

Adding a notice in the TCU newsletter, placing fliers in residence halls and sending an e-mail to students and parents has been among the efforts to help increase registration, Albert wrote.

Kristin Russell, a senior nursing major, said receiving alerts via text message is a very effective way to for university officials to inform students of situations.

“I think it’s a benefit to receive the text messages,” Russell said. “I recommend that everyone register for it before they walk all the way to class and realize it’s canceled.”

Russell said she believes that recent crimes on campus will encourage more students to register to receive alerts.

Albert wrote that a test message will be sent via text message Thursday between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to students and faculty who have registered their cell phone number in the service.

A campuswide e-mail will also be sent out regardless of cell phone registration, and it is important for students to reply to the text or e-mail as requested, Albert wrote.

TCU ALERT is used to communicate urgent messages such like school closures to the campus community, she wrote.

“It is important to have a mass notification system like TCU ALERT to quickly inform the campus about emergencies or weather-related closures,” she wrote. “Additionally, by requiring a response to the message, we are able to track if campus members are receiving the necessary information.”

TCU ALERT began in fall 2007 following the Virginia Tech shooting, she wrote.

“The Chancellor asked a group of faculty and staff to assess how TCU responds in an emergency,” she wrote. “The group examined the process and researched options. TCU ALERT was the product of their efforts.”

It is important to note that regardless of whether a person has registered his or her cell phone, every student, faculty and staff member will receive an e-mail from the system in an emergency or weather-related closure, she wrote.

Students who have not yet added a cell phone number can register by logging on to and clicking on the TCU ALERT button on the lower left side of the page, Albert wrote.

In the case of an emergency, the university will use e-mail, the TCU homepage, TCU ALERT, a voice message to pre-identified university business lines, the university’s Twitter account and media as methods to communicate with the campus, Albert wrote.


When: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. today

78 percent of faculty are registered with TCU ALERT

69 percent of students are registered with TCU ALERT