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UW Aims to Link Alert System to Digital Signs on Campus


December 15, 2011 — The University of Wyoming has the ability to send instant cell phone text messages to more than 90 percent of its students and half of its employees in the event of an emergency.

Soon, those messages could also be delivered via digital signs already in place around the Laramie campus. The UW Information Technology staff is proceeding with plans to link the UW Alert text notification system to 27 digital signs on campus.

Digital signs are in place in Coe Library, the Information Technology Center, the College of Business, the Wyoming Union, the Washakie Dining Center and other locations. They fill a variety of functions, from informing students about upcoming events to showing them available work spaces in computer labs. Once linked with the UW Alert system, those signs could display the same messages delivered via text to students and employees in the event of an emergency.

Digital signs also are slated to be installed at the College of Law and other spots on campus.

"We're pleased with the prospect of having another way to notify the campus community in the event of an emergency," says Mark Collins, associate vice president for operations. "We hope we won't have to use the system, but it's important to be ready in case we do."

The text alert system (http://www.uwyo.edu/uw/campus-safety/index.html), one of many safety initiatives in place at UW, provides a means to quickly reach as many members of the university community as possible. Some 13,728 students, or 92 percent of the student population, have signed up for the service, as have half of the university's employees.

The UW Alert system is tested twice each year. During the last test, a message was delivered successfully within minutes to the vast majority of those who had signed up for the service.

For more information, call the Information Technology Helpdesk at (307) 766-4357 option 1, or email userhelp@uwyo.edu.

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