Campus News 2007

For Immediate Release
October 11, 2007

Emergency broadcasting system comes to campus

Largely in response the horrific school shootings at Virginia Tech earlier this year, Schreiner, along with many other U.S. colleges and universities recently began using a new emergency messaging system, enhancing the current procedures with a new text messaging system.  The Mountaineer Alert system was put into place in October.

“We believe we are able to effectively respond to emergencies involving students in ways large state universities cannot,” said Fred Gamble, Schreiner’s vice president for administration and finance. “Primarily, being small and private, we try to intervene with a student before things get too far.”

That being said, he believes that the new emergency response system, Mountaineer Alert, is a good idea, as it can be used in a range of situations, including bad weather like last year’s ice storm and flooding.

“There are other less expensive messaging systems out there,” Gamble said, “but this is probably the most popular and most versatile.”

Schreiner’s implementation is called Mountaineer Alert and has two parts: electronic messaging via text messaging/e-mail and a voice/tone broadcast system. Faculty, students and staff will register e-mail addresses and cell phone numbers online. When a message is sent, the broadcast system will emit a certain tone to tell everyone to check e-mail and cell phones.

The system will be used only for emergency situations. “They’ll know if they get a message from us, it’s not to chat,” Gamble said.

“The good thing about the broadcast system,” he added, “is that I don’t have to physically be present to activate it. If I can get to a phone anywhere, I can activate it.”

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