Some UT students registered for UT Alert didn't get the alert text message after Tuesday's robbery

By: Hilary Magacs Email
By: Hilary Magacs Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Those signed up for UT Alert text messages and e-mails should have received alerts after a man robbed the UT Federal Credit Union inside the University Center Tuesday. The robbery happened just before 11:30 a.m. Some received the text alert as early as 11:48 a.m. For others, it was later:

"It was around almost 12 o'clock - 11:51," said Jamaal Goldsmith, a junior.

"I got it at 11:51 in the morning," said sophomore Collin Fegak.

"I was writing a paper for English and I got it at 11:53," said Bo Hunter Stevens, a freshman.

Gage Armstrong never got the text message at all.

"I thought it was odd that some people got it and I didn't. But it has been sporadic in the past too with my alerts. Sometimes I get them, sometimes I don't And it's just kind of the way it is. But through the text alerts sent to other people I did find out about the event, it just wasn't through my phone," said Armstrong.

The UT Police Department said Armstrong wasn't the only one who had problems.

"We have heard feedback. Some people said they got it later, some people said they hadn't got it at all, so we've actually pushed out through media relations today, we're going to push out information to the student body - to the campus community basically on common problems that we see," said Emily Simerly, Deputy Chief of Administrative Affairs for the UT Police Department.

Some problems on the student side include not signing up for the alerts, and not updating their phone numbers. But the police department said once the alert is sent to cell phone providers, it's up to them to deliver the message to customers and that's when things get complicated.

"They system itself like I said pushes that message out at UT within several minutes. Some carriers take a little bit longer to send out a message than others though, unfortunately. We have no control what happens to a message once it reaches - once it gets past the UT software and gets pushed into a carrier's realm," said Simerly.

She said that's why it's best to sign up for the UT Alert e-mails, too.

If you're having trouble with your UT Alert e-mails or text messages, send an e-mail to UTAlert-Help@UTK.Edu.

UT said it tests its alert system regularly. The next text is set for September 20th at 1:10 p.m.


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