Text message alert system expanded

Students’ awareness of snow days and university closures will now be coming straight to cell phones.

In response to the campus closing last month, due to inclement weather Oakland University’s text message alert system has been expanded to notify students and faculty in the event of class cancelations and a university closure.

“These can be weather-related or be caused by something like a power failure,” said OU Police Department Captain Mark Gordon.

In the past, text alerts were only sent to registered numbers when the health, safety and welfare of students and faculty were at risk.

“Because there are safety issues involved in road travel during inclement weather, and for the convenience of registered system users, we felt it appropriate to add university closures and campus-wide class cancelation,” said OU Police Chief Samuel Lucido in a statement.

“The primary and most vital role of this system is to enhance campus safety by keeping people informed during emergency and crisis situations,” said Lucido.

The alert system has been used in an emergency situation once.  On March 3, 2009, text alerts informed students and faculty when a bomb threat forced police to evacuate the Oakland Center and O’Dowd Hall.

The system has been tested once per semester since its inception in September 2008.

Oakland students and employees are encouraged to register for the service at www.oakland.edu/ready with a Grizzly ID and valid Oakland e-mail address.