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STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -
The University of Stevens Point has a new way to warn students and staff of an emergency.
"If for example we were to have something like a violent situation on campus we would be able to warn more than 11,000 people in a very short period of time," said Kate Worster, Media Relations Executive Director at UWSP.
That's the motivation behind the new Pointer Alert System that sends warnings to students' smart phones.
Students tell Newsline 9 that they feel the alert system makes the campus safer.
"Everyone has their phone on them now-a-days, you can see kids in class before, after, and during, and they'll know about it like the second it happens,"said Kathryn Lutgen, student at UWSP.
Four years ago, the campus had a situation where a student's theater prop was mistaken for a gun.
Local law enforcement responded with full force, and one building was closed down entirely.
Now if an emergency happens, the school can alert students instantly.
"The quicker we can get that information out the less risk there is of course to individuals that are involved in an emergency, they'll be able to take actions quicker and obviously that's going to result in increased safety," Jeff Karcher, Risk Management at UWSP.
The system sends alerts through emails, text messages and campus intercoms.
Every student at the university is automatically signed up for the alerts.
"I think the best thing that we can do is be prepared, we're never going to be able to predict anything but as long as we have the system and the plans in place to be prepared if it does happen that's the best that we can hope for," said Ryan Specht, UWSP Student Body President.
The school's website is also updated when an emergency alert is issued, providing parents with the latest details.
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