Text messaging a legit strategy

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “Txt msgs alne wnt wrk”
Sept. 21, 2007

To the editor:
“Y nt?” Text messaging would make for a great medium " or at least as good as any existing method " to serve Western’s Campus Community Police Services. It provides an immediate, direct link to students who own cell phones, and would deliver and diffuse a message across campus much quicker than posting a warning on a site or sending out a mass email. Not everybody can access their UWO accounts at any given moment, but they can pull their phones out of their pockets at the drop of a dime.

To address the concern, “Well, what about students who don’t have cell phones?” I would ask, “What, do they exist in complete isolation?”

In all likelihood, a student without a cell would be in the company (or at least the vicinity) of 10 other students who do. From there, news would spread in the tried-and-true fashion of word of mouth. That’s how most things tend to circulate, anyway.

Lastly, let’s give the student body a little credit. Just because someone receives a “warning message” doesn’t mean he or she starts running around like a headless chicken. Obviously, the risk of panic is always a factor when sending out an emergency call, but why would the risk be greater coming from a phone than from the computer? If Western needs a “method of educating students about how to react to emergency text messages,” shouldn’t it also have a “method of educating students about how to react to emergency emails”?

If we can afford to pay for various renovations and a huge stack of school books, I think we can shell out a few more dollars for an extra medium to make sure an urgent message is heard.
"Curtis Ho
Arts & Humanities

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