Mass Texting Policy

Responsible Office: Department of Information Technology

Enforcement Official: Director of Information Technology

Category: Communication

Statement of Policy

This policy outlines Southwest University‚Äôs approach to utilizing mass text messaging for efficient communication, demonstrating responsible information management, honoring recipients’ privacy preferences, and complying with relevant state and federal regulations. This policy aims to uphold optimal standards and prevent excessive use of text messaging. In addition to traditional channels like letters, emails, social media platforms, and the university’s website, the university may employ text messaging to enhance communication. However, it’s important to highlight that mass text messaging should complement, not substitute, other communication methods and should not be the primary mode of communication.

Individuals Affected by The Policy

This policy applies to individuals associated with SU who use text messaging to reach large audiences within the University community for official university matters. This includes text messages sent from devices, accounts, or offices owned by the University, messages sent through third-party services on behalf of any University department, and messages from authorized university employees or representatives performing their official duties.

Key Definitions

  • Emergency Purposes means communication required in situations that directly impact the health and safety of the University community.
  • Mass Text Message is defined as messages that are the same or very similar, sent out to over 50 addresses in one or multiple groups.
  • Opt-in means requesting to receive SU text communications. Text is only sent to those who opt-in.
  • Opt-out is when someone receiving SU text messages chooses not to receive them anymore. Those who opt out will not receive text messages.
  • Text HELP to the university’s text message if you need assistance, have questions, or require further information.
  • SU Mission means the mission set forth at https://southwestuniversity.edu/about-us/

Policy Details

  • Southwest University is committed to facilitating effective communication within the university community regarding emergencies. These emergencies may include weather closures, fire incidents, security issues and other subjects relevant to the university‚Äôs mission while still complying with applicable state and federal laws.
  • This policy applies to any text messaging application or system procured, managed, and/or developed using SU resources, which dispatches messages to 50 or more recipients. No other system is allowed to employ Southwest University’s name, logos, insignias, icons, branding, or any other university-related elements without written authorization.
  • With the exception of emergency communications, text messages from SU will solely be received by those individuals who have opted in.
  • The content of the message being sent must indicate its origin from SU. This enables recipients to recognize its source, for instance, through labels like ‚ÄúSU Alert‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúSU Admissions.‚ÄĚ
  • Mass test messaging must not be used to communicate:
    • General information intended for broad audiences, such as “Fall classes start Monday!‚ÄĚ
    • Repetitive reminders of previously sent messages;
    • Personal matters like sale items or farewell messages;
    • Advertising or any form of commercial content; or
    • Personal or confidential data, including but not limited to social security numbers, financial information, or grades.
  • Emergency Communication
    • In Emergency Situations, SU may send automated text messages to wireless phone numbers without consent.
    • SU students are automatically included in the notification services, which may include text messages.
  • Non-Emergency Communication
    • SU may send non-emergency messages if the recipient has previously given express consent when they provided their telephone number to SU.
    • SU non-emergency text messages must, at a minimum, comply with the following:
      • Be only sent to those individuals who have opted-in;
      • Comply with applicable laws and regulations to reduce institutional risk;
      • Follow best practices outlined by professional organizations;
      • Meet parameters set forth by the Office of Information Technology
      • Meet unit parameters for procedures and practices to support the text messaging communication efforts;
      • Provide subscribers the option to opt out of non-emergency messages anytime.
      • Communicate that standard data and text messaging rates may apply.

 

  • System administrators are responsible for keeping an updated list of individuals who opt out of receiving non-emergency text messages.

      The designated system administrators are responsible for complying with this Policy.