Texting service to invade Kent State campus

Kali Price

Kent State students will soon be able to find out if class is canceled, know when a meeting time is changed or receive coupons to area businesses all with their cell phones.

Alerts, event information and retailer promotions are all benefits of the new contract Undergraduate Student Senate signed with Mobile Campus, Inc. on Friday, USS Executive Director Ross Miltner said.

Information will be sent to students through text messages.

“It (Mobile Campus) costs students absolutely nothing,” Miltner said. He added that the only fees are current ones students may pay for text messaging with their wireless carrier.

Miltner said the service will hopefully launch by Homecoming on Oct. 14.

Mobile Campus includes services such as “permission-based” retailer advertisements and promotions, such as coupons; time-sensitive alerts, such as class and meeting cancellations or room changes; or mass messages to members of student organizations.

“It’s a very efficient way of communicating for a group,” Miltner said. “Before, you would have to call everyone or e-mail. It’s very quick, very effective.”

Students will be able to sign up on the Web site, flash.mobilecampus.com, and create student messaging groups and sign up for promotions from area retailers.

Miltner said that 45 area retailers will ideally be involved with Mobile Campus.

“They (the text messages) have to have a certain amount of value, like $2 off a pizza at Papa John’s,” he said. “Ideally, that would help offset the cost of paying for the service with your carrier.”

The messages do have some limitations that will be decided upon by USS, Miltner said. For example, Ray’s Place would be able to send promotions for food, but not for alcoholic beverages.

Kent State is the first university in the Midwest to sign with Mobile Campus, Miltner said. The service has been successful at schools such as the University of Florida and the University of Texas at Austin.

Miltner said USS had worked on signing the contract over the summer, along with President Lester Lefton and the deans of different colleges.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Miltner said. “It’s really pretty cool.”

Contact student politics reporter Kali Price at [email protected].