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Improving safety and service at the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center is now just a text away.

Starting this fall, University Support Services will debut a new text alert system during events at the Kibbie Dome, so patrons can alert staff of incidents or concerns.

“Anytime we have the public come into our building, we want to be as safe and efficient as possible,” says Rob Anderson, USS director. “We can use this system for a lot of issues to improve our service.”

Anderson says something as simple as a broken chair or an unruly fan who needs attention are all good candidates for the text alert. He added that perhaps one of the more important functions the system serves is alerting staff quickly of a spill that could be potentially hazardous.

“If we can save someone slipping on a soft drink spill before we get there, then I think it’s worth it. Safety is our main concern,” says Anderson.

Along with the new system, a command center will be installed for large events – like the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival, sporting events and commencement –for staff and emergency responders who already are on scene during events.

As the school year starts and events at the Kibbie Dome begin, signs will be posted around the building and on marquees and video screens to encourage patrons to report issues or concerns. To use the system, patrons will be asked to type Idaho, comments or concerns, and section they are located, to 69050.

That message will be relayed to the command center, where staff will take action. A confirmation that your text was received  and a personalized message also will be sent.

Anderson says staff members at Kibbie Dome events have been alert to problems and issues in the past, but patrons don’t always report their concerns. There have been instances where a broken bleacher part goes unnoticed or people don’t want to be known as the one who turned in the unruly fan. He adds some patrons may need medical assistance, but may not want to make a big deal about it. The text alert system will encourage people to report their concerns.

“This will streamline the process and make it easier,” says Anderson.

In addition, as texts come in, staff members are able to monitor numbers and blocked numbers to avoid prank texts.

University Support Services has entered into a one-year contract to use and evaluate the new system. Anderson says USS has not had a serious issue come up in recent years, so they are not sure how many texts they will receive at first. Eventually, Anderson would like to see a sponsor take over the funding for the service.