Emergency notification system proves a worthwhile investment

By Glenn Battishill

The notification system that warned students of an assault near the library has been performing better than expected by Information Technology.

The notification system was supposed to have been tested the week of Feb. 2 but the snow provided a suitable trial for the system.

“[IT] had planned to test it that week but the snow day tested it for us,” said Curtis White, vice president of IT. “We decided that we’d give students a break from all of the messages and hold off testing until March.”

The notification system has been a worthwhile purchase for the university.

“Rarely do we get so much value for such little investment,” White said. “It’s been a marvelous system.”

White said that the notification would be evolving in the future, moving from simply texts and email.

“Texts are just one part of it, but it’s an important part,” White said. “We’d like to have PA notifications as well as WRDL messages.”

White said that IT has added the ability to receive notifications based on location so that branch campuses would not receive alerts involving main campus and vice versa.

White explained that the current notification system is an ‘opt in’ model where users have to sign up as opposed to having all students be signed up automatically, which would require users to remove themselves from the system if they don’t want messages.

White said that the test emails always result in hundreds of sign ups.

Students can sign up for emergency notifications at http://www.ashland.edu/emergency.