Emergency Text System Alerts BU Students to Stabbing

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Dec 6, 2009 at 8:05 PM EDT

Just minutes after a fatal stabbing happened at Binghamton University.

Thousands on campus were alerted of the tragedy through a text message.

As Action News Reporter Natalie Jenereski tells us, students say the emergency text system, is a success.

"In minutes."

That's how long it took Binghamton University to alert students that a professor had been stabbed on campus Friday.

"It was kind of creepy when I went online and realized that it happened at 1:40, I was like, that's the time I got the text message, so it was really fast," says Monique Armstrong, a BU junior.

The text was sent in two messages, saying:
University police responded to a reported stabbing in S-1. Suspect in custody. Police investigating. Stay clear of science 1. All events and classes in science 1 are canceled for today. The suspect is in custody. University police and state police are on site and are processing evidence.

Notifications reached thousands of students in less than ten minutes of the incident.

Students across campus remember where they were when they got the message.

"I was at a group project, and I was over in the student wing," said Kelly Young, a BU senior.

"When I got the text message from the school about it I was sitting a hallway down from it," said Matthew Steves, a BU junior.

Whether they were in the classroom, or in their dorm rooms, overall, students seemed to be pleased with the timely text.

"I was actually really impressed with the fact that I found out that soon. I wasn't surprised, because I knew it was capable of doing that, just to see it in action was pretty good, so that was definitely a plus," said Armstrong.

"I kind of like that it was right away so that you know that if anyone is near there to let them know right away, I sent a text out to all of my friends, I got a couple texts from friends saying not to go over there so I was happy with the speed of the university," said Young.

BU began using the current emergency text messaging system in August of this year.

In Vestal, Natalie Jenereski, WBNG-TV Action News.

Emergency texts are only sent to those who register for them.

It allows students, faculty, and staff to have three numbers on their account.

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