University of Oregon conducts successful test of text alert system

EUGENE, Ore. -- (March 4, 2009) - The University of Oregon conducted a successful test of its UO Alert! System at approximately 4 p.m. today. The purpose of the UO Alert! System is to allow students, faculty and staff to receive vital information via text message on cell phones if emergencies occur on campus.

The university collected approximately 17,300 personal cell phone numbers voluntarily from students, faculty and staff during the fall and winter terms through a brief online registration system.

Today's test distributed a test SMS message in less than three and a half minutes to the entire database of entries. Approximately 125 numbers were invalid, likely due to typo errors when entered into the system.

"We're very pleased with more than 50 percent of our students, faculty and staff choosing to participate in the UO Alert! System, which is much higher than the national average," said Andre Le Duc, UO's director for emergency management. "In the event of a campus emergency, the text alert notification will be one of many ways we will disseminate information."

Text notification system is one of the tools available for use in an emergency or crisis situation. Others include email, web page updates, Community Emergency Notification System (CENS) sometimes referred to as "reverse 911," and media outlets.

Member of the UO community who registered with UO Alert! but didn't receive today's test message, should log into DuckWeb, the university's web resource for administrative functions, to ensure the phone number was added correctly. It's also recommended to verify that his or her phone device can receive SMS messages.

About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is a world-class teaching and research institution and Oregon's flagship public university. The UO is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization made up of the 62 leading public and private research institutions in the United States and Canada. The University of Oregon is one of only two AAU members in the Pacific Northwest.

Contact: Julie Brown, 541-346-3185,