Oregon University Taps Social Media To Warn Students

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Utilizes Facebook & Twitter To Prevent Campus Violence

Pacific University students now have an additional warning method at their disposal should a campus emergency take place. Social media, particularly Twitter and Facebook, are being used to by the university to warn students of potential danger.

Pacific University students now have an additional warning method at their disposal should a campus emergency take place. Social media, particularly Twitter and Facebook, are being used to by the university to warn students of potential danger.

One of the worst sounds heard on college campuses these days is the crackle of gunfire, the most unnerving noise for defenseless students. If they’re lucky, what they heard was a sound from a nearby neighborhood where gang violence is quickly contained by the police. Or, the noise came from woods adjoining the campus where hunters took down an 8 point buck.

Unfortunately, the sound of gunfire is now causing students to quickly take cover, not wanting to find out what the ruckus could be as they just may find themselves in the cross hairs of an assault rifle, a statistic in waiting at the hands of a delusional gunmen.

The Virginia Tech Massacre

Ever since the Virginia Tech massacre of April 2007 when a deranged gunmen slaughtered 32 students and faculty members, colleges all across the United States have been developing or fine tuning warning systems let everyone know that a gunman is on the loose. With Virginia Tech, students weren’t warned about the problem even after the first incidence occurred. The killer had attacked one residence hall, leaving two dead before leaving, rearming, and returning two hours later to complete his rampage.

That gap at Virginia Tech between shootings has brought about a radical change in the way students are notified of a campus crime event at least on some campuses.

Pacific University Goes Social

At Pacific University, a private school located in Forest Grove, Oregon, the university is using two social media sites to notify students of problems on campus. Pacific is now working with Omnilert, LLC the maker of e2campus, an emergency notification system for higher education to notify students via Facebook and Twitter of campus emergencies.

The system allows Pacific University to send e2Campus alerts (called Boxer Alerts at Pacific University) automatically and simultaneously to the school’s Facebook and Twitter accounts without the need for logging into Facebook and Twitter separately. This means that students who have yet to enroll in the school’s official alert system may still get the alerts through these two popular social media outlets. There was no extra cost to integrate the Facebook and Twitter utilities into e2Campus.

Broadcasting Emergency Messages Quickly & Easily

“This is one less thing we have to worry about when managing a campus emergency,” stated Lee M. Colaw, Vice President of Information Services at Pacific University. “Now if we broadcast emergency communications, we can feel confident we will reach the most people in the least amount of time with the least amount of steps and man power.”

Colaw continued, “It was an easy decision to implement because there was no extra cost to utilize this new capability. Facebook and Twitter are free and e2Campus does not charge extra for the Facebook or Twitter utilities.” Pacific University’s Facebook account can be viewed online at http://www.pacificu.edu/facebook or visit http://www.pacificu.edu/twitter to follow the university’s Twitter account.

Source: Omnilert, LLC

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Categories: Campus News