Test Illini-Alerts experience delay

By Daily Illini Staff Report

A test Illini-Alert was scheduled to be sent at 10 a.m. Tuesday, but students and faculty did not receive the alert until after 11 a.m.

A mass email was sent to campus Monday saying the test would send email messages to students and faculty, text messages to those signed up for text alerts, pop-up boxes on campus websites and messages on the Illini-Alert Facebook and Twitter pages.

According to Brian Mertz, CITES communications officer, the company that sends out the Illini-Alerts experienced a problem with their database, which would not send out the signal that all of the messages should be sent. However, when the signal was fixed, the messages were sent out as quickly as expected.

“Because this is a scheduled message as opposed to something we were sending live, if we really had had an emergency during this time, we still would have been able to send something in real time with no delay,” Mertz said.

In the future, Mertz said the text message alerts would undergo language changes, since the text messages said they were sent at 10:05 a.m. but were actually sent later.

“This was just a very specific problem that seemed a little worse because of some language we had left in our testing message,” Mertz said. “We weren’t concerned at all with how the Illini-Alert functioning service is now.”

Illini-Alerts are for the entire campus and are scheduled to be tested once every quarter, although smaller subsets of the Illini-Alerts are tested every month.

Marijo Enderle contributed to this report.