• left portrait
  • office
  • right portrait
  • logo_working.gif

Text Message Notifications

About Text Message Notification at Columbia Univeristy
How to Register for Text Message Notification
Frequently Asked Questions about Text Message Notification
Help and Contact Information

About Text Message Notification at Columbia University

Columbia is committed to keeping the members of the University community aware of important—and, at times, urgent—matters through multiple communication channels. Those channels include text messaging, email, web postings, phone calls and in-person communication. Text messages sent to cell phones will be used in rare cases when a very brief message can be sent. Some possible scenarios for choosing to send a text message include weather emergencies, major transit interruptions and campus closures.

 

To Top

How to Register for Text Message Notification

Faculty and staff can register to receive text message notifications by following these instructions:

  • Visit https://my.columbia.edu/ 
  • Log in using your UNI and password
  • Click on the “Faculty & Staff” tab at the top of the page
  • Click on “Update Personal Information”
  • Select “Mobile” from the phone type drop-down and add your cell phone number
  • Click “Save”

Note: if you do not want to receive text message notifications from the University, please make sure that there is not a number in the “Mobile” phone field.

 

To Top

Frequently Asked Questions about Text Message Notification

Q. How do I register for text message notifications?

A. Faculty and staff can register to receive text message notifications by following these instructions:

  • Visit https://my.columbia.edu/ 
  • Log in using your UNI and password
  • Click on the “Faculty & Staff” tab at the top of the page
  • Click on “Update Personal Information”
  • Select “Mobile” from the phone type and add your mobile phone number
  • Click “Save”

Note: All faculty and staff will automatically receive emergency notifications at your CU email address, whether or not you choose to enroll for text message notifications. The messages will be the same.

Q. What are text message notifications?

A. Text message notifications are short messages that are sent to a mobile phone. Columbia uses them to complement the use of email, web postings, phone calls, and in-person communications for delivering important information.

Q. How often will I receive a message?

A. Text message notifications will be used only in rare circumstances to notify you of critical information. The system will also be tested occasionally. These tests will not require you to do anything, and will provide familiarity with the text message notification system in the event that we need to use it for urgent information.

Q. Does signing up for text message notifications cost money?

A. There are charges associated with sending and receiving all text messages; the costs depend on your individual cellular service plan. Some plans charge the customer for any text message sent or received (typically $0.05 per message), while other plans specify a maximum number of included messages per month. If you are concerned about these costs, please check with your cellular service provider. Remember that the University will use text messaging only in exceptional circumstances.

Q. I have bad cell phone reception in some places on campus. Should I sign up for text message notifications anyway?

A. Yes. Our tests show that major cellular providers – Verizon, Sprint, AT&T – generally offer good or excellent service on campus. Obviously, some campus locations, including underground indoor spaces, may have poor cell reception. Remember that text messages are but one of the ways the University communicates important information.

Q. I received an email saying that my mobile phone number has been blocked from the system. What does this mean?

A. A small number (less than 1%) of the students, faculty and staff who have registered for text message notifications have mobile phone numbers that are blocked by the vendor that the University uses to send these messages. Reasons for this include the following:

  • Your mobile phone number has been registered for a do-not-call list (usually to avoid calls from telemarketers).
  • You have blocked SMS messages to your phone.
  • You've recently changed cell phone companies.
  • Payment is overdue on your account.
  • You have a prepaid cell phone with contract terms that restrict these messages.

If you would like to receive text message notifications but you have received an email saying that your number has been blocked, you will need to contact your cellular service provider.

Q. I do not have a mobile phone (or my phone gets bad reception on campus). How can I stay up to date about important campus information?

A. Because Columbia uses text message notifications as a complement to a variety of other communications methods, you need not be concerned if you cannot receive them. The University will continue to share important information via email, web postings, phone calls and in-person communications.

 

To Top

Help and Contact Information

Please contact txt@columbia.edu with any questions or comments you have about text message notifications at Columbia University.

 

To Top