However, over the years I've grown less and less impressed with UGAAlert. The system is so unreliable that it really doesn't do much to reassure me of my safety. Of course a complicated system like this is bound to have its quirks at the beginning, but sometimes I wonder if UGA is just wasting its time with this initiative.
Personally, I signed up specifically for text messages because I wanted to be able to read what was going on in the event that I should be contacted during class. Despite my preferences I set on the website, I still get phone calls. That's the least of my complaints, though. There have definitely been times I haven't gotten a notification at all, when my friends have.
Last month, a message was accidentally sent to the entire UGA community which was actually intended for a small hazardous response team. Starting at 5:45 a.m., I got several urgent phone calls and text messages referring to something I had no idea what it meant, of course causing quite a bit of panic.
Last night, when Athens-Clarke County was placed under a tornado warning, my parents (who live in Florida) got phone calls warning them of the situation, but my roommate never got the call. She did, however, get a text message informing her when the warning was called off.
While I commend UGA for making an effort at communications in the case of a crisis, they clearly need to spend more time perfecting their technology. A system like this is only effective if it is reliable, and more effort needs to be put into this important service.