WT Upgrades to Text Message Emergency System - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

WT Upgrades to Text Message Emergency System

"By utilizing text messaging we can reach our students regardless of geographical location and get our message out quicker," said James Webb, the Chief Information Officer at WT. "By utilizing text messaging we can reach our students regardless of geographical location and get our message out quicker," said James Webb, the Chief Information Officer at WT.

Students and Faculty at West Texas A&M can now receive a text message, along with an email, in case of an emergency. It's called a "Buff Alert". "The system that was in place before was an email system, and by utilizing text messaging we can reach our students regardless of geographical location and get our message out quicker," said James Webb, the Chief Information Officer at WT.

Webb says the upgrade began back in May, as a result of the Virginia Tech massacre.   Students and faculty there were reportedly not told of the incident until hours after it happened. Students welcome the new upgrade, even if they already feel safe on campus. "It would be really helpful to have that kind of thing come out just because you know what is going on, on campus," said Julie Gordon, a second year student at WT.

Officials say the University Police Department will decide when a "Buffalo Alert" should be sent out. Webb says, so far, more than 600 people have signed up online to receive the messages.  One of those is Ashley Littlejohn.  "I wanted to make sure I would be safe and help my friends out in case they hadn't signed up," said Littlejohn.

Later this fall, several classrooms will be equipped with high-tech phones that can also receive alerts, notifying the professor of an emergency. To sign up, Webb says you have to be affiliated with the university and have an e-mail account. The website is: www.wtamu.edu/buffalert

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