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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Following the massacre at Virginia Tech last April, the university's officials were criticized for the amount of time that passed between the first time Tech student Seung-Hui Cho opened fire and the time students were sent e-mails warning them to stay off campus.

Critics said the administration wasted precious hours that could have saved lives. In the wake of the tragedy that left 33 dead, universities nationwide took a look at their own policies regarding how to notify students of an emergency.

UF and other universities found their answer in a medium normally reserved for your friends or tech-savvy parents: text messaging.

Last month, when two students at Louisiana State University were found dead in their on-campus apartment, this new system was put to the test. Unfortunately, it failed. Several students said they never received a warning about the double murder.

Just as UF learned from the Virginia Tech tragedy, it would be wise to learn from the LSU glitch.

In this age of instant communication, we're all for using whatever gadgets necessary to alert students and the community.

Let's just make sure they actually work.

At a massive university like UF, it would be difficult to instantly alert each of the 50,000-plus students at the click of a button, despite the wonder of technology. However, we urge the administration to test their text-messaging notification system as soon as possible.

It'll probably only be slightly less annoying than those cable television tests, but we don't think students would mind the minor inconvenience to ensure their safety this semester.

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