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April 22, 2010 Volume 31, No. 28

This is a test, only a test

At 2:50 p.m., Thursday, April 22, MU students, faculty and staff who have registered their cell phone numbers with the Universitys mass notification system will receive a test text message. 

The message will read: This is a test of the MU Alert Notification System on April 22, 2010. This is only a test. Cell phone users will be asked to acknowledge receipt of the message. University officials expect to test the system at least once each semester. In the Columbia area — which includes the MU campus, MU Health Care and the UM System — there are 22,450 text addresses in the notification database out of a possible 52,515 faculty, staff and students, according to the Division of Information Technology.

MU last tested the notification system in November 2008 with voice calls and e-mails as well as text messages. A survey of student notification preferences conducted last  year by Educause found that students overwhelmingly preferred text message notification (72 percent) compared with voice calls (8 percent), public address systems (6 percent), e-mail (12 percent) and other means such as website notification (2 percent).