By Lauren Carey–Contributing Writer
Real-time communication makes campus life much safer for faculty, staff and students, and West Liberty University has gotten involved by using the TopperNet Emergency Alert System.
For more than a year, TopperNet has notified the campus community quickly and efficiently in the event of weather cancellations or emergencies.
The expanded use of cell phones has made it possible for the college to communicate with a large number of people in a very short period.
In the past, people had to depend on radio or television broadcasts to learn about important information that might affect their safety or schedules.
Now, the university can communicate information to students and faculty quickly and efficiently in the event of a national or local emergency.
Scott Cook, Dean of Students, reports that approximately 1,400 individuals are registered for TopperNet. This includes faculty, students and staff.
“WLU was looking for a system that could provide immediate information to students and found that this was the most effective tool available. It only takes a minute or two to log into the TopperNet system. Once in the system, it is as simple as typing and sending a text message,” Cook said. He added that a message can be sent by either cell phone or computer.
Matthew Baker, senior Environmental Science major said, “Without a doubt, the alert system has been more than beneficial. Having the delays and cancellations sent to my phone via text has saved me a lot of guess work, which allows me to plan my day.”
The alert system is also valued by commuters.
“Although I am now doing my student teaching, over the past few semesters I have found the TopperNet text messaging system to be very helpful. It has been a huge time saver for me because as I’m getting my kids ready for school, I don’t have to check my e-mail to see if there has been a delay or a campus closing,” said senior Music major Julie Schultz.
The university provides the TopperNet emergency alert system as a service to the college community. All students and faculty are encouraged to register for the program.
Anyone who has already signed up for TopperNet does not need to re-register during the spring semester.
However, students, faculty and staff who have not yet registered to recieve TopperNet can do so by visiting the website at www.getrave.com/login/westliberty. Step-by-step registration instructions are provided on the website.