TigerText, the University of Memphis’ emergency alert text messaging service, keeps students, faculty and staff informed and protected, but only if they’re signed up for the feature.
According to the school’s website, “the optional service is used in the event of an on-campus emergency, an unscheduled university closing, or a delay or cancellation of classes due to, for instance, inclement weather.”
The service is free to students but standard text messaging rates apply.
The text messaging system was put in place in 2007 shortly after the Virginia Tech massacre and the U of M campus began to focus more on student safety.
Bruce Harber, director of public safety and Police Services, is encouraging students to reactivate their TigerText accounts by signing up online for the service. He said students are unaware that their service deactivates after being enrolled for a certain amount of time.
“The biggest challenge with TigerText is keeping people signing up,” Harber said. “What happens is the accounts expire, and we’ve never been close to the almost 20,000 licenses we had early on from the people we have on campus being signed up to receive the alerts.”
“We have to continually remind people to sign up,” Harber said. “I included the information at the bottom of one of my recent emails to the student body just so students would have the information. It’s easy to ignore those emails, but we just want people to be aware that the accounts do expire.”
Jonathan Burks, an international business sophomore, said he knows about the service but he’s never signed up for it.
“It was mentioned in freshman orientation, but after that, I never saw or heard about it on campus, so I’ve never signed up,” he said.
Sidney Burngasser, a U of M at Lambuth graduate, said he had the feature while attending school in 2012, but was unaware that it would expire.
“I remember my classmates mentioning they were getting weather alerts and school closing messages, but I wasn’t receiving them,” Burngasser said. "I didn’t realize they would expire until I went to the website to see what was wrong with my account.”
Students, faculty and staff can sign up for the feature or renew their current enrollment by visiting the TigerText website.