SHU Receives Student’s Anonymous Tips via Text Message
Siena Heights University in Adrian, Mich. implemented an anonymous tipping system that allows students to “text” in their tips to the campus safety dispatch office. With a basic cell phone, students and others can submit tips, safety issues, or problems at sporting events simply by sending a standard text message to the school. So far, the office has received tips every month. SHU purchased the tip service, called uTip, from e2Campus for a nominal annual fee.
“It’s another way for us to reach out and be present in our community,” explains Peter Ossmann, assistant director of emergency management at Siena Heights University. “It enables us to have another line of communication with our students that they can use to send us information about any crimes or other important information.
“If they don’t feel comfortable calling or coming to talk to us, they can use this text-based service to get in contact with us in a way that’s convenient for them. There is little risk in exposing themselves as the tipper. They just pick up their cell phone, type in our keyword and their tip, and hit send. The tips come right to our emails and phones as text messages in seconds.”
Ossmann added, “The cost was very inexpensive relative to the service we received. The cost was around $200 to add it to our e2Campus account. And, there was little extra cost or overhead internally because it didn’t require any integration or coordination with other departments to set it up.
“Maybe the biggest cost and definitely the most important part of the implementation is the marketing campaign to promote it to the community. e2Campus provides free poster templates, but we wanted the promotions to match our university’s look. Leveraging the Department of Homeland Security’s ‘If You See Something, Say Something’ campaign, we had our graphics department create consistent flyers, signage, and advertising across the campus to make it memorable for people to use. We used the acronym of our university and the word “tips” to come up with the mobile keyword “SHUTIPS”.
“We actually have two tipping systems now, one for general safety and one for athletics. We created a separate mobile keyword for our home athletic games called “SHUFAN”. There are signs at our athletic stadiums promoting the service, so if any fans watching the games want to report any tips or customer service related issues, they can text their message to us that way.
“The ability to integrate and leverage our anonymous tipping systems with our emergency notification system into a single product is highly recommended, because we’re not managing multiple systems, different vendors, and worrying about integration of all these functions. The e2Campus solution takes care of all of that. We can easily manage all these services in one easy-to-use portal.”
Ossmann concluded, “I like that it didn’t take long to setup, it was up and running instantly, and it’s easy for our community to use. ”
Used by more than 800 schools around the country, e2Campus is the leading safety communication solution for education. The e2Campus 360 Safety Suite includes uAlert, uTip, uSafe, uConference, Hotline and the Multimodal Showcase. The award-winning flagship service, uAlert, is the first and most trusted unified emergency notification system in education. Higher education clients include large universities such as Arizona State, Penn State, and Cal Poly as well as smaller colleges with less than 100 students. K12 clients include large school districts such as St. Tammany Parish Public School System to small private day schools. To learn more, visit www.e2Campus.com. Existing client administrators can discover online resources in a peer-driven community at www.e2Campus.org.
Omnilert, LLC develops intuitive communication technologies that keep communities safe and connected. The company’s flagship service is a Tier-1 interactive unified mass notification system that enables a single person to communicate critical information to thousands of people anywhere, anytime, on any device or service. This affords better crisis communications, emergency management, business continuity, and disaster recovery. The award-winning company’s 8,000 clients include the U.S. Army, Verizon Wireless, Bayer, Mazda, Arizona State University, Penn State, Marine Corps Marathon, YMCA, American Red Cross, and UNICEF. Omnilert solutions are sold under the brand names e2Campus, Amerilert, and RainedOut. The privately held company is headquartered in Leesburg, Va., and at www.omnilert.com online.