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On April 14, MICA will officially launch a new cell phone text-messaging service, MICA ALERT

Posted 04.07.08 by MICA Media Relations

On April 14, MICA will officially launch a new cell phone text-messaging service. MICA ALERT is a subscription-based emergency notification system hosted by e2Campus which will allow MICA to communicate with students, faculty, and staff rapidly if there is an immediate threat to health or safety on the College's Baltimore campus. The system sends very brief text messages to cell phones and will be used only in the event of an emergency, never for routine communications. Users will receive a confirmation message when they subscribe, and then periodic test messages (generally no more than one or two per year), and emergency messages.

The messages sent by the system will be no more than 125 characters and will include the nature and location of the emergency, brief instructions, and information on where to go for more information. According to interim director of campus safety, Dave Butkiewicz, the system will allow campus safety to quickly inform the MICA community about an unfolding emergency situation. "Since the shootings at Virginia Commonwealth University, many colleges have added cell phone text messaging to their toolkit for delivering emergency alerts to the campus community," explained Butkiewicz. "This service will allow us to communicate in real time when there is an unfolding situation that may require quick action by the campus community."

MICA ALERT will not replace existing systems for emergency notifications. Currently, the College can send bulk voice messages to campus telephones; bulk emails to all degree-program students, faculty, and staff; and can post emergency messages to its homepage at www.mica.edu. Any or all of those methods will be used along with MICA ALERT. These methods will also be used to provide more detailed instructions and information during and after an emergency.

MICA community members will be able to subscribe to MICA ALERT beginning April 14, by following prompts during online registration and on the website where employees update their benefits information. Students, faculty, and staff with a myMICA login can also log in to myMICA and select "personal information" and then "emergency notification info" to access the registration form. Continuing studies students who do not have a myMICA login, will be able to go to http:/www.e2campus.com/my/MICA/signup.htm to register for the service.

All members of the MICA community are being encouraged to subscribe to the MICA ALERT service through emails sent the week of April 7, flyers on campus, and prompts that will appear onscreen when students complete their online registration for fall classes, or when employees update their benefits information during the annual open enrollment period. Users can sign up as many as two cell phones to receive messages, and they select an end date when the messages will cease-for example, degree program students might select as their date of graduation, and continuing studies students or parents of Young People's Studio classes might select the end of the current term. Users can manage their MICA ALERT accounts through an online interface that allows them to change cell phone numbers that receive the alerts, change their "opt out" date, or unsubscribe at any time.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 52 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.