MU Alert – Frequently Asked Questions

How Is The Decision Made To Issue An MU Alert For A Criminal Incident On Or Near Campus?

Marshall University officials determine if and when alerts related to criminal incidents are issued based on a number of factors, including when information becomes known. Alerts are sent when a serious crime occurs that demonstrates an ongoing threat to the campus community. 

The Marshall University Police Department reviews the known details of each reported criminal incident on a case-by-case basis with the safety of the campus community in mind.

The following criteria are considered before issuing an MUAlert regarding a criminal incident:

  • Did a crime occur?
  • Did the crime occur on campus property or on other Clery reportable property? (More information about Marshall’s Clery reporting geographical areas is available in the university’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.)
  • Is the crime a Clery reportable crime? (More information about Marshall’s Clery reporting is available in the university’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.)
  • Is there a serious or continuing threat to the campus community?

What Is SMS Messaging?

SMS is an acronym for Short Message Service, a system for sending short text messages to devices such as cellular phones. Also known as text messaging, SMS messaging is a fast, robust, and reliable means of communicating information quickly. SMS messaging puts less load on cellular circuits than voice communication, and allows near-instantaneous dissemination of important information.

Will This Cost Me Anything?

Depending upon your wireless service provider and your wireless plan, you may be charged a fee for receiving Short Message Service (SMS) text messages. If you have an unlimited text messaging plan, there is no additional charge.

Will I Receive Unsolicited Messages (SPAM) On My Mobile Phone Or Email Account?

No. You will only receive messages that you signed up to receive.

How Will I Receive MU Alert Messages?

You will receive MU Alert messages using the following possible contact methods:

  • Message to your cell phone
  • Text message to your cell phone
  • E-mail to your Marshall University e-mail
  • E-mail to your Personal e-mail
  • Call to your Home Phone

Do I Need To Install Software On My Phone?

No. This service uses industry standard SMS text messaging to send messages to your phone. Your mobile phone plan will need to be able to accept text messages to work properly.

Will MU Alert Messages Also Be Posted On Social Media?

Marshall University does not consider social media channels to be primary methods of emergency notification. However, social media can provide a means to send out information about an emergency as a secondary channel and may be used in some circumstances. MU Alert is the official channel for emergency notifications from Marshall University.

Can My Parents/Spouse/Etc. Sign Up For the Emergency Notification System?

At the present time, only current MU students, faculty, staff, and affiliates may participate in the MU Alert Emergency Notification System. However, notification service for third parties is something Marshall is looking into in the near future.

What Might An MU Alert Message Say?

In an actual emergency, here are a few sample messages you may receive via text message, voice message, or email:

  • ACT OF VIOLENCE REPORTED on the Marshall University (campus location) campus. Campus closed. Go/remain indoors, lock all doors/windows, stay away from windows, do not open locked doors for anyone. Await further messages.
  • A BOMB THREAT has been reported at the (building name), on the Marshall University (location name) campus. Check your work area for suspicious items-report any found, and EVACUATE to the assembly area. Await additional info.
  • There is a POLICE EMERGENCY on the Marshall University (campus location) campus. (Campus location) campus is closed. Go or remain indoors and await further information.

How Long Is My Emergency Notification Information Kept? What Happens To This Information When I Leave the University?

Faculty and staff information will be deleted upon separation from the University, unless an affiliate status is established. Student information is deleted one year from the end of the last term of enrollment. If MU elects to end the relationship with the vendor, all information will be securely deleted from Everbridge’s systems.

Do I Have to Confirm Receipt of the Message? What Happens If I Don't?

Though receipt confirmation is not required, it is preferable for you to do so if at all possible if you are asked to do so. When you confirm that you have received the message, you free up system resources to contact other members of the University community who may not have gotten the message yet. In an emergency, this will save valuable time – and, possibly, lives.

Will I Receive Duplicate MU Alert Messages?

You may receive duplicate messages if you do not confirm receipt of the message. The system will cycle through your contact paths 3 times. Once you confirm receipt of the message or after it cycles through your contact paths 3 times, the MU Alert system will cease trying to contact you for that message broadcast.

Will Marshall University Be Testing the MU Alert System?

Yes The University will test the MU Alert system at least once per semester. The campus community will be notified in advance when a test of the system is scheduled to take place.

Will My Information Be Kept Private?

Marshall University is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of personal information provided to the campus by faculty, staff, and students. Therefore, all the data provided to MU Alert as part of the campus Emergency Notification System will be stored in secure electronic systems located within the campus data center.