Blinn College wants to make sure its students stay safe. Tuesday night the Blinn Board of Trustees selected a California company to implement its new emergency notification system.
The company selected also serves Virginia Tech, the university where a gunman killed 32 people last year, prompting an upgrade in campus security worldwide.
Blinn College is the latest school to jump on the bandwagon.
"You want to be able to reach as many people as quickly as you can and why not use technology to do that," Blinn College Public Information Officer Gena Parsons said.
Blinn College is the latest local institute to adopt a mass notification system to be used during emergencies.
The college selected California based company, 3N, because unlike other systems, it uses voice messages along with email and text alerts.
"We wanted voice messaging because the voice messages go through faster than text messages do," Parsons said. "If we're trying to serve 15,000 students, we want that message to get to them as quickly as possible."
Blinn says it's been looking for the perfect system for over a year, but the process sped up in June.
That's when the so called "Santa Claus Bandit" allegedly robbed two College Station station banks, then ditched his getaway vehicle on the Bryan campus.
"We could have communicated better and we can always communicate it better," Parsons said. "This is one way we can do that."
Students arriving for the new school year say they're happy Blinn is taking a proactive approach.
"I think that's really important let everybody know that something is going on," one student said.
"With all the recent things that happened on other campuses, other students going nuts, it sounds like a good idea," Another Blinn student said.
The system has only been approved. A contract still needs to be signed, then the notification system will be ready for use sometime this fall.
The system will cost the university just over $38,000 for the first year.
Blinn already has a critical incident response team on campus, made up of faculty and staff, that currently notify students in case of an emergency. The college will also continue using the local media get out information.
However, the new system is almost instantaneous.
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