The university implemented TCU Alert five months after the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007.
The mass notification services system, powered by 3N, was purchased following the recommendation of a committee formed by the chancellor to research communication services for emergency situations.
Thankfully, the university has not had to use the system for any emergencies like the Virginia Tech shooting. However, the recent server troubles have made us grateful for the administration’s foresight.
Since the systems’s debut in 2007, the university has rigorously campaigned for students and faculty to register for its service. My.tcu.edu frequently stops students from proceeding into the “Student Center” portion of the site without updating their personal information. In addition, registration instructions are e-mailed before every potential bad weather day.
When the text announcing the university’s closure went out Tuesday morning, it was a convenience, allowing staff and students to know school was cancelled without having to get out of bed. But by Thursday, it was virtually the only means of communication between the administration and campus residents.
With campus servers and networks out of commission, students were left with Facebook, Twitter and the alert system to communicate. Getting the word out about the closure helped keep many people off the road, which is safer for everyone.
Web editor Andrea Drusch for the editorial board.