Students Aren't Signing Up for Text Alert Systems

Sense of invincibility, fear of revealing personal data to blame
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Feb 28, 2008 6:15 PM CST

(Newser) – Campus shootings keep making headlines, and schools are increasingly adopting text message alert systems as a response—but students aren't jumping on the bandwagon, the AP reports. Experts chalk up low enrollment rates to students' sense of invincibility, unwillingness to reveal personal information and the cost of receiving texts. "It will take time to earn their trust," said one spokesman.

Still, Northern Illinois University relies solely on email and voice alerts; at Virginia Tech, 6 in 10 students have signed up for the new texting service. But reaching a quarter of a campus is sufficient: "They're going to start spreading the word," one expert said. Meanwhile, security specialists are calling for all-inclusive alert systems that also include loudspeakers, sirens and cameras.