Vanderbilt Tests Emergency Message Service - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Vanderbilt Tests Emergency Message Service

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- In the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting tragedy, Vanderbilt University tested a new emergency communication system Friday morning.

It is a text message service to alert faculty, staff and students.

Students such as Kathleen Grunder said they were relieved to have another lifeline for help.

Grunder, a freshman pre-med major, has her cell phone with her at all times.

"It definitely makes me feel a lot better that they had plans in place in case something does happen," she said. "I've never not felt safe on campus but you never know what's gong to happen."

The test message was sent to 4,000 subscribers. Each person had to register online.

But that means there are some 35,000 others who use this campus daily who didn't get the alert.

"It will continue to be advertised and promoted to incoming students and faculty and staff," said Michael Schoenfeld, vice chancellor public affairs. "Obviously, we can't force people to sign up but hope many take advantage of it."

Lauren Bruns and Alley Gimple are heading home for summer break. They signed up for the service because Virginia Tech is never far from mind.

"Like the college campus is so open and people are coming and going and you never know where anyone is at any given time," Bruns said. "With text messaging, it's the easiest, fastest way to get to everybody because everybody has their cell phone on them."

While what happened at Virginia tech was unthinkable, Vanderbilt officials said they have to have to think about these situations and be ready to act to keep people safe. They see text messaging helping them do that.

Middle Tennessee and Fisk University told NewsChannel 5 that they are both considering adopting text messaging service.

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