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BRIEF: WWU to hold Western Alert system test Thursday

The alert will be sent out over the campus alarm system and on mobile devices

Western Alert sign placed in Red Square to notify students of upcoming test of their system at Western Washington University on March 14 in Bellingham, Wash. The system aims to notify those on campus to have time to react in an emergency. // Photo by Seddie LeBlanc

Western Washington University will test its emergency system known as Western Alert on Thursday, March 14 at 10:50 a.m. The alert will say that it is just a test. If you are on campus, you are likely to hear or see the test.

Alerts are delivered in multiple ways, including text messages, emails, desktop push notifications and voice messages that get played through the campuses' many fire alarm systems, according to Western’s website. Alerts are also acknowledged through social media feeds, the university’s website and digital signage across campus.

Western’s campus police aim to be on guard at the site of any emergency, with 24-hour service on campus grounds, said Monica Jackson, Western’s director of emergency management.

Western Alert aims to give students, staff, faculty and anyone else on campus time to acknowledge that an emergency is underway on campus. Without a widespread alert system, there would not be an effective way of notifying those on campus of instructions on what to do in an emergency, Jackson said.

“The Western Alert system is just one tool in the toolbox of Western’s comprehensive approach to safety and security on campus,” Jackson said.

Testing this system is key to maintaining its effectiveness, she said.

“Western Alert system is tested quarterly to ensure that systems are functioning as designed, as well as provide the opportunity for recipients to become familiar with the experience of a Western Alert being issued,” Jackson said.

Ethan Anest

Ethan Anest (he/him) is a campus news reporter for The Front this quarter. He is a third-year student and a Public Relations pre-major. In his free time he enjoys losing track of time watching movies as well as going to concerts, Ethan can be reached at

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