Your cell can keep you connected on campus

Maria Nann

Messaging services send emergency info, offer ways to save

Whether students are looking for information about campus emergencies or ways to save on food and textbooks, they can get up-to-date information with the buzz of a cell phone.

FlashAlerts is Kent State’s official emergency text notification system. The system notifies faculty, students and staff of critical information regarding the campus. Alerts are sent out regardless of time, to everyone subscribed to the program.

Tom Neumann, interim vice president for university relations, said FlashAlerts provides students with quick, up-to-date information when there is something happening on campus that they need to know.

“It’s meant to be immediate,” Neumann said.

In addition to alerting students and faculty of emergencies, FlashAlerts also sends out information about class cancellations. Last semester, Kent State officials used FlashAlerts to notify students on several days when classes were cancelled due to snow.

Neumann added alerts sent out by the university are strictly informative, and there are no advertisements sent via text.

“There is no advertising, no spam,” he said.

Neumann said during the Week of Welcome, the university will have people stationed around campus, in places such as the Student Center, to provide more information and help students register for the program. Fliers in students’ Orientation packets will also give students information about the program.

Mobile Campus is another text messaging service. Instead of alerting students and faculty of emergencies, Mobile Campus sends out discounts and special offers to students’ cell phones.

“Students have to set up a profile online,” said Brandon Hartman, vice president of messaging at Mobile Campus. “They then can opt in or opt out of what they want to receive information on.”

Students signed up for Mobile Campus can receive coupons from vendors on campus such as the University Bookstore. They can also receive information from off-campus vendors, including Kent Lanes and area restaurants.

Through an online account, students signed up for the program also can choose to receive information on weather and traffic.

Mobile Campus also allows student groups such as fraternities, sororities and sporting teams to send group messages. This means one administrator from each group can send text messages to every member of the team, informing them of upcoming events or canceled practices.

For more information on Mobile Campus, including information about how to sign up, students can visit

While there are no enrollment fees for signing up for either messaging service, all charges for text messages are determined by an individual student’s cell phone plan and provider.

Contact principal reporter Maria Nann at [email protected].