Natalie Alatriste/Staff Writer
If FIU students simultaneously hear their phones ringing, it’s most likely an alert from FIU.
“On two separate occasions, an unknown male on a bicycle has grabbed two females’ buttock at the MMC Campus,” read the most recent alert students received from the Department of Emergency Management.
These messages were successful in alerting students of potential harm.
The University alerts typically vary in content: from messages about the weather to potential dangers on campus that students need to be aware of.
The catastrophes that have recently been occurring at other universities have been alarming to schools nationwide.
The shooting at Florida State University last week shows the need and importance of a functioning alert system for universities. The alert system is an important feature to any university.
The system, called FIU Alert, works by sending out messages in multiple ways to reach a student.
“There’s multiple methods of communication: text messages and voicemails to cell phones, emails to FIU accounts, alerts to the official FIU Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, outdoor speakers, call boxes, the new LED outdoor billboards at MMC and BCC, and VOIP phones in every classroom and office,” said Amy Aiken, the director of emergency management.
The current system was first implemented last October, and there were some minor issues while transitioning to the new system: students were receiving duplicate messages.
Aiken says they didn’t want to risk the new system crashing or glitching. So, the email would send twice.
Training and experience in learning the system has fixed this problem.
“The email system has been streamlined and the old system has been completely removed,” Aiken said. “The new system is much more efficient than the old one, and has more methods of sending out messages.”
Every semester, system components are tested. So far, the new system has been effectively relayed messages to students.