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Get Instant Campus Alerts Through Text Messages



Waiting can be painful.

Just ask anyone who has their eyes glued to their computer and their finger set on a web browser’s refresh button, constantly updating their email to see if school or work is canceled due to a predicted or developing snowstorm.

With Rhode Island College’s RICAlert system, students, faculty and staff can receive instantaneous cancellation notifications – and save themselves the chore of constant checking.

“With text messaging, all campus advisories come to subscribers immediately. You do not have to check for a cancellation or delay anywhere else,” said Pam Christman, interim assistant vice president for information services in RIC’s Office of Information Services.

RICAlert is designed to provide timely and accurate notification to the campus community. Introduced as a supplement to the college’s emergency alert channels, RICAlert offers  students and employees notifications as soon as a decision is made on cancelling classes or college activities.

“This service pushes the information right to you,” Christman said. “This service eliminates frustration.”

RICAlert is effective in delivering information when the chance of a cancellation might not be obvious. For instance, Christman said, there may be a power outage on campus that interrupts classes in certain buildings. While those on campus may be aware of the situation, a student or employee traveling from South County or as close as downtown Providence wouldn’t necessarily know that there is an electrical issue.

“With RICAlert, when you are driving or coming from some place other than campus, you don’t have to find a computer and login to email or Facebook,” Christman said. “The weather might be nice in South County but terrible in Providence. Those in South County might not think to check on a cancellation.”

Signing up for RICAlert is an easy process, Christman said, through MyRIC at my.ric.edu. You must have a cell phone number in order to subscribe.

RICAlert has sent nine text alerts to the entire campus community this year, reaching 45 percent of faculty and staff and 77 percent of students – those who have registered for the service.

Campus advisories also are available on the college information line at 456-9500, on the RIC Facebook and Twitter pages, through email announcements and on local radio and television stations through the Rhode Island Broadcasters Association consortium.

For more information on RIC’s emergency alert systems, including frequently asked questions on RICAlert, visit http://www.ric.edu/emergencymanagement/.