With growing concern over campus violence and emergencies, the Augustana Student Association Senate took actions to make sure all students are safe. At a regular meeting Wednesday, the Senate voted to allow Augustana University administration to enter all students’ phone numbers into the Emergency Notification System (ENS). Before this decision, students were required to manually register for this service.
The Senate’s unanimously-approved resolution will allow the University to automatically add students into the system. All students currently receive emails about critical information through their Augustana e-mail, but adding every student to the text message service will improve timeliness and effectiveness of the messages to students.
During critical situations, Augustana University officials can use the notification system to broadcast pertinent information and provide details on appropriate response (e.g., school closing due to inclement weather, chemical spills, acts of violence, etc.).
“When the Senate was discussing this topic, it became apparent that the rewards outweigh the risks,” Augustana Student Association President Paige Schwitters stated. “This system provides a way for all students to receive immediate information if an emergency were to occur. It’s the next step in making sure our students remain safe.”
“I believe it is important for students to feel safe on campus,” Augustana Student Association Vice President Thomas Elness said. “Taking this step ensures that all students, regardless if they have been on campus one day or four years, know they will receive alerts in the event of an emergency.”
Students have the option to add a total of five phone numbers and an additional e-mail address to the system. Additionally, students have the option to opt out of the Emergency Notification System if they do not want to participate in this service. Students can update their information or unsubscribe from the service on the Augustana portal.