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University of Montana Uses Campus Alert System to Warn Students of Danger [AUDIO]

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photo courtesy of katie@!/flickr

After a young woman was attacked outside the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority house on Tuesday night, November 19, it wasn’t long before the entire university community was made aware of the issue through the campus alert system.

Vice President for Integrated Communications at the University of Montana Peggy Kuhr said the alerts are delivered primarily by email, but may also be in the form of a text message.

“The way the alert system works is that we deliver them via email, but as you know, not everyone regularly checks email these days,” Kuhr said. “Now we have a text messaging system that students and campus personnel can sign up for, so if you have a cellphone and want to receive emergency or warning texts from the university, you can opt in to be able to receive those messages.”

Kuhr said she, or another university official, will compose the text alerts.

“I or someone else on campus will write a short text and we always refer people to their email account for additional information,” Kuhr said. “So, ideally, people would sign up to receive a text alert, and they would also automatically get an email alert.”

Kuhr said the campus alert system has already been used three times in this fall semester.

“We had one early in this semester in which there were two reports that an individual was meeting female students in the university center and then going to their rooms and touching them inappropriately,” Kuhr said. “The second one was in early November where we had a man touching a student in a stairwell in one of the campus buildings. The third alert, of course, was last night with the attack outside the sorority house.”

Kuhr said the university also has a legal obligation to inform students when there is danger on campus through the Clery Act.

“Through federal law, we have the Clery notification procedure, where any campus needs to notify students of any instance where there may be an ongoing threat regarding safety,” Kuhr said.

The law was named for Jeanne Clery, a 19 year-old freshman at Lehigh University who was raped and murdered in her campus residence hall in 1986.

Vice President for Integrated Communications Peggy Kuhr

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