Understanding crisis communications: Examining students’ perceptions about campus notification systems
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Following the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech, colleges and universities nationwide sought to install new emergency notification systems or overhaul existing systems to alert students in the event a similar incident took place on their campus. While researchers have begun to explore the effectiveness of such systems and how they are being employed, a noticeable gap exists in the literature in respect to how this technology is being utilized by members of the campus community. The present study, conducted at a large southwestern university, sought to fill this void by examining the perceptions and employment of the system by universities’ largest segment of users – students. The findings provide continued support for the use of multimodal systems, but also indicate that more education and advertising is needed to increase student engagement with these systems. Limitations of the study, directions for future research, and related policy implications for universities also are discussed.
Keywordsemergency notification systems emergency alerts multimodal systems Virginia Tech colleges and universities
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