Siena Heights U. Students Can Now Send Anonymous Tip Via Text Message

ADRIAN, Mich. — Siena Heights University (SHU) implemented an anonymous tipping system that allows students to text in their tips to the campus safety dispatch office. SHU purchased the tip service, called uTip, from e2Campus for a nominal annual fee.

With a basic cell phone, students and others can submit tips, safety issues, or problems at sporting events simply by sending a standard text message to the school. So far, the office has received tips every month.

“It’s another way for us to reach out and be present in our community,” explains Peter Ossmann, assistant director of emergency management at Siena Heights University. “It enables us to have another line of communication with our students that they can use to send us information about any crimes or other important information. 

“If they don’t feel comfortable calling or coming to talk to us, they can use this text-based service to get in contact with us in a way that’s convenient for them. There is little risk in exposing themselves as the tipper. They just pick up their cell phone, type in our keyword and their tip, and hit send. The tips come right to our emails and phones as text messages in seconds.”

The cost was around $200 to add the tip system to the university’s e2Campus account, according to Ossmann.

“Maybe the biggest cost and definitely the most important part of the implementation is the marketing campaign to promote it to the community,” he says. “e2Campus provides free poster templates, but we wanted the promotions to match our university’s look. Leveraging the Department of Homeland Security’s ‘If You See Something, Say Something’ campaign, we had our graphics department create consistent flyers, signage, and advertising across the campus to make it memorable for people to use.”

The university also created a second tipping system specifically for athletics. There are signs at the university’s athletic stadiums promoting the service.

“The ability to integrate and leverage our anonymous tipping systems with our emergency notification system into a single product is highly recommended, because we’re not managing multiple systems, different vendors, and worrying about integration of all these functions,” says Ossman. “The e2Campus solution takes care of all of that. We can easily manage all these services in one easy-to-use portal.”

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