What is TXT-U?
TXT-U is the University of Minnesota’s emergency notification text messaging system. It is one of several ways the University system provides emergency information to faculty, staff, and students. TXT-U has been a critical component of the University’s emergency communications system since 2007.
How is TXT-U changing?
In the past, TXT-U has been an “opt-in” system. Members of the University community who wanted to receive emergency text messages had to opt in, or formally sign up, for the service. Using the opt-in system, fewer than half of all students, faculty, and staff registered for TXT-U.
As of May 31, 2012, students, staff, and faculty with an active Internet ID and University of Minnesota email address have been added to the TXT-U system. However, only those with cell phone numbers included in their University personal information will receive emergency text messages.
Why change to an opt-out system?
By moving to an “opt-out” system, everyone in the University community who has a mobile phone number listed in their personal information will automatically be enrolled in TXT-U and will receive emergency text messages.
We expect this change to substantially increase the number of students, faculty, and staff using the system, and as a result, improve emergency communications on campus. As a TXT-U user, you will receive information about an emergency more quickly.
What can I do to make sure my cell phone number is registered with TXT-U?
To be sure you will receive TXT-U messages in an emergency, verify your information by going to your TXT-U page. If your cell phone number changes, you will need to visit this page again to update your information.
Tip: We recommend that you save 67283 and 226787 into your mobile phone as a contact called “TXT-U.” This way, when you receive an emergency text message from the U, “TXT-U” will appear as the sender.
How do I add numbers to my TXT-U account?
Go to your TXT-U page. You may add up to two other cell phone numbers to your account, such as a parent’s, child’s, or spouse/partner/significant other’s.
Can I receive TXT-U messages from more than one campus?
TXT-U is in use on all five campuses of the U of M and messages are campus-specific. You are automatically registered to receive messages from the campus where you are primarily affiliated. You can, however, receive TXT-U messages from additional campuses by doing the following:
- log in as normal to your TXT-U page
- from the start page, click on the Groups tab (towards top, center)
- under Official Groups, click on the group you'd like to join
- under the Actions header, in the Group status line, click on Join
To confirm that you’ve joined a specific group, click on the My Groups tab and review the listing of groups to which you belong.
What if I don't want TXT-U?
Everyone who is automatically registered will have the option to unsubscribe from, or opt out of, the system. You can opt out by going to your TXT-U page and removing your mobile number(s), or by texting “STOP” to 67283.
If you opt out of the TXT-U system you will not receive emergency text messages and will not be added back into the system unless you choose to subscribe again.
What if I’m already registered for TXT-U? Does this change anything?
Yes. Although everyone who previously registered for TXT-U and who is still a current University employee or student has been re-registered in the new system, you will need to visit your TXT-U page to be sure your information transferred correctly and is up to date. You will likely need to reenter any additional numbers you previously added to your account.
I noticed that my TXT-U page gives me options to receive email and voice mail emergency messages. If I select them, will I receive those notifications in addition to text messages?
Not at this time. The University has its own system in place to provide multiple emergency notifications. We will be exploring these additional features in the coming months to best determine their use at the University of Minnesota.
When will the University send me emergency messages using TXT-U?
TXT-U emergency messages will be sent only when a dangerous condition exists on campus. Examples could include an active shooter on campus, an approaching severe storm, or a building evacuation. TXT-U has also been used in the past when a campus has closed due to heavy snowfall. You will receive emergency text messages only from your primary campus.
I don’t want unnecessary text messages. Will TXT-U be used to send other kinds of information?
No. TXT-U will only be used to notify you about emergency situations and campus closings. You may receive a test message once or twice a year during normal business hours to ensure the system is working. You will not receive solicitations or SPAM of any kind.
Does TXT-U cost anything to use?
The University does not charge you for the TXT-U service. However, your cell phone carrier may charge you to receive text messages, so check your plan. If you have unlimited text messages, you will not be charged. If you have a text-messaging package, you will not be charged unless you exceed your monthly allotment of messages.
Will all cell phone carriers deliver TXT-U messages?
Yes. The University is using a service provider that works with all major cell phone providers. Text messages will be sent to your carrier for delivery to your phone. The exceptions are Google Voice, TextFree, and other such numbers. List your actual cell phone number instead.
Is TXT-U reliable?
TXT-U is an extremely reliable emergency text messaging notification system. However, due to carrier restrictions, signal limitations, and other factors, the University cannot guarantee that all phones registered for TXT-U will promptly receive every message sent.
Will my personal information remain private?
Yes. Our contract with the company that manages TXT-U prohibits it from ever sharing your information.
I don’t use text messages. Other than TXT-U, how else does the University broadcast emergency information?
With a five-campus system as large as the University of Minnesota’s, no single method of communication can effectively reach everyone during an emergency. TXT-U is one of many tools the University uses to distribute emergency information. Other tools include:
- Tone Alert radios (not in use in Rochester)
- On-the-ground public safety personnel
- Campus-wide email
- The University home page and campus websites
- Campus-wide outdoor public address systems (coming soon to Duluth)
The University’s goal is to communicate emergency information in many different ways to ensure that the most people receive notification as quickly as possible.
Is TXT-U available on all University campuses?
Yes. TXT-U is in use on all five campuses of the University of Minnesota. Messages are campus-specific.
What do I do when I receive a TXT-U emergency notification message?
TXT-U messages will give you instructions. If you are in class, tell the instructor about the message so she or he can announce it to others.
What happens after I graduate or am no longer employed by the University of Minnesota?
TXT-U contact information is updated daily, so as soon as you are no longer officially in the University of Minnesota systems, your information will be deleted and you will no longer receive TXT-U messages. A note to parents: When your child graduates from the U, your numbers will be deleted from his or her account. If you are listed on the account of another child who is still enrolled, you will continue to be registered.