Code Maroon System Put to the Test

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

College campuses across the country learned a valuable lesson from the Virginia Tech tragedy. Since then, many have implemented programs to notify students when emergency strikes.

On Thursday, Texas A&M University tested its emergency notification system, Code Maroon, at a time with emergency plans are on the minds of many.

As a mother preparing to send her daughter off to college next year, campus safety is at the forefront of Sylvia Roberts' mind.

"Always that they're safe," Roberts said. "I think this school (A&M), if they're on top of something like this and getting the word out to everyone, that's the most important thing."

More than 50,000 messages were sent out via e-mail and text message through the Code Maroon system as a practice emergency drill for faculty, students, and staff.

"It's really scary because you never know if you're in a place that's safe," Sylvia Roberts' daughter Margaret Roberts said. "You feel like you're safe somewhere and then there can be someone that just loses it, and you never know."

Code Maroon is working to calm some of those fears by alerting students when an emergency strikes.

However, not everybody got the message.

"I didn't get it yet," Jerren Willis said. "Was I supposed to get it?"

A&M officials say area codes and service providers delayed some from being notified by phone, while others didn't get the message at all.

System operators say they are hoping to learn how fast all the messages were able to get out, as well as determine how many people signed up correctly, and how many didn't.

"Yeah I guess I might have done it wrong," Willis said. "I just don't know."

School officials say students who were registered for the system and did not receive a notification can log on to the Code Maroon website for troubleshooting tips.

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