Mason Alert Registers More Than 10,000

Posted: September 14, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Mason Alert, a new information system designed to give students, faculty and staff immediate access to emergency announcements, notifications and updates during times of a major campus or area crisis, has passed the 10,000 mark in total registrations.

Formally launched on Aug. 23, the service is free and voluntary. Registered individuals receive messages at their e-mail addresses or on their cell phones, text pagers, BlackBerrys or wireless PDAs.

Registration for this service is open indefinitely. Interested persons can register any time at alert.gmu.edu or by texting the keyword “Mason” to 411911 on their cell phone.

The messages can cover a range of topics, including security or safety threats, evacuations, weather-related announcements, transportation notices, IT outages, site/building closures and delayed or early closings. Those registering for the service automatically receive all university-wide emergency notifications, but may choose which other alerts they want to receive. Mason has partnered with Roam Secure, a regionally based company that specializes in emergency text alerting and information sharing, to provide this service.

As of Sept. 12, according to Keith Bushey, Mason’s chief safety officer, 7,743 registrants identified themselves as students, 826 as staff, 984 as faculty, 210 as alumni and 254 as parents. In addition to students and employees, nearly 200 contractors and visitors have registered to receive emergency notifications.

Thomas Hennessey, Mason chief of staff, and Bushey are overseeing the effort to introduce Mason Alert to all segments of the university community. “It is our hope that as many members of our internal community as possible take advantage of this new service,” says Hennessey.

Mason Alert does not replace other emergency notification systems currently in place, such as those managed by local municipalities. Instead, it focuses on what is going on at the Mason campuses.

Mason Alert will not send routine messages via text messaging. Text messages will be reserved for critically important messages that require action on the part of the community. Alerts intended to keep members of the community informed will be sent via e-mail.

For more information on Mason Alert, visit the web site.

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