Test reveals flaws in texting system

By Paul Biasco

The University’s emergency text messaging system was put to the test in a study by three University students and failed in some areas.

The weekly Illinois Student Senate meeting began Wednesday night with a presentation on the state of the emergency text messaging system by Robert Gregg, graduate in Engineering, and Lindsay Kessler and Erinn Mitchell, both juniors in LAS.

The three students put the system to the test in a wireless and communication technology study.

According to the results of the test, there is a two-minute delay from when an emergency occurs and when a text message is sent out.

The study also found that after eight minutes and thirty seconds, roughly 10 percent of the campus would have received the message.

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In one of the tests, students owning Blackberry cell phones could not receive the text message at all. In another test, T-Mobile owners did not receive the text.

“This system is not going to protect the young men and women on this campus as much as them preparing themselves,” University Police Lt. Skip Frost was quoted as saying in the students’ presentation.

The University reports that most students would receive the text message within twenty minutes of it being sent, the students said.

The senate also held elections for the Senate Executive Committee, an important deciding body in the U-C Senate.

Student body president Jaclyn O’Day, junior in LAS, won the undergraduate seat over Frank Calabrese, junior in LAS, by a vote of 20-10. Gregg won the graduate seat over Zenobia Ravji, graduate student in LAS, by a vote of 24-10. Ravji won the final seat, not specified as graduate or undergraduate, by a 16-13 vote over Calabrese.