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R U OK? Text messaging cheap way to bolster campus security

When Hope College in Holland, Mich. had to close campus in the middle of the day last fall due to a virus outbreak, it alerted everyone with a text message. While it’s the only time so far that the new alert system was used, it’s a good illustration of how many universities and colleges are looking for ways to make their campuses safer.

“The instructions in those text messages can be very brief, almost Twitter-length,” said a Hope College spokesperson. “You can either give instructions or just tell them to go to the college’s Web site, where we can immediately update the status of what’s going on.”

At another Michigan university, students can sign up for a text-message alert system that will inform them about everything from crime to inclement weather.

Read more here.

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