UVA Alerts Text Messages To Reach More of the Community Following Safety Update

May 25, 2023
Hand holding phone with a graphic of an alert icon overlayed on the phone

The University will automatically enroll students, faculty and staff in UVA Alerts text messaging to provide quick notice of imminent threats. (Illustration by Emily Faith Morgan, University Communications)

An upcoming change will help UVA Alerts reach community members quickly and directly to help them stay safe in the event of an emergency on Grounds.

As part of a continuing effort to enhance safety, the University of Virginia will automatically enroll students, faculty, and staff in UVA Alerts text messaging. Starting this weekend, anyone who has not previously provided a mobile phone number to receive UVA Alerts via text will be enrolled if they provided a number during orientation or onboarding.

“It’s important that we increase the number of people in the community receiving alerts via text,” Jennifer (J.J.) Wagner Davis, executive vice president and chief operating officer, said. “Emails may not be checked as frequently, and UVA Alerts have essential information and calls to action for the community that are updated approximately every 15 minutes. We hope that having more individuals receive the text alerts will help community members become more informed about what to do during an emergency.”

A Thursday message from Davis and Timothy Longo, associate vice president for safety and security and chief of University Police, provided important details for community members ahead of the automatic enrollment this weekend:

  • The data transition will last through the weekend and be complete on Monday. Please do not attempt to make changes to your UVA Alerts account until the transition is complete.
  • The data transition will not impact the ability of UVA Alerts to reach you in the event of an emergency over the weekend.
  • A routine test of UVA Alerts and all other components of the University’s emergency notification system will be sent June 6 at 10:50 a.m.
  • If you do not receive the test alert text message on June 6, please sign into your UVA Alerts account and confirm that your mobile phone number is accurately listed.
  • If you no longer wish to receive UVA Alerts by text, you can always opt out by signing into your account at uvaemergency.virginia.edu/uva-alerts or by texting “STOP” in response to a UVA Alerts text message.

While anyone with a UVA email address automatically receives Community Alerts, UVA Alerts are a separate, critical way to communicate with the University community in the event of an emergency.

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“UVA Alerts differ from Community Alerts because they are sent in real time and provide regular, consistent details on the emergency and instructions for the community to follow,” Longo said. “They are sent via a wide variety of channels by University Police in the event of an imminent threat that may warrant immediate action from community members to remain safe. Community Alerts, on the other hand, are sent only via email following certain crimes that have occurred on or near Grounds as required by the Clery Act. No urgent action is required by recipients of Community Alerts.”

The data transition will be complete by Monday and newly enrolled community members will begin receiving UVA Alerts text messages.

Media Contact

Bethanie Glover

Deputy University Spokesperson