Over-use of campus alerts can cause recipients to tune out

September 22, 2014

Some campus officials are concerned that the sheer number of text messages, emails, and other alerts that students receive from PSE institutions are causing many students to tune out. “The idea behind them is that they’re for emergencies, but because a lot of the times it’s about ‘It could rain this afternoon or it might storm later,’ a lot of the time I just don’t care to read them,” said one student. The problem is compounded when institutions send the same message via multiple media. Scott G Burnotes, Director of Emergency Management at the University of Miami, said, “to get people to take action, individuals need to hear something from at least 3 different sources.” Proponents say that the volume of alerts is necessary because the cost of not alerting students could be too great. “It’s probably a little bit of an annoyance for them, but if something turned into a bigger event, it would have saved people’s lives,” Burnotes said. The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)