Students arm themselves with alarms

By Jennifer Burk MCT

MACON, Ga. – Mercer University students who don’t feel safe on a nighttime walk through campus soon will have the option of setting an alarm to notify campus police if they don’t reach their destination.

That’s just one of the features included in a new cell phone plan designed specifically for Mercer students.

Starting this fall, all Mercer freshmen – officials anticipate about 620 of them – will be enrolled in the cell phone plan, said Terry Whittum, senior vice president for enrollment management. Current students may decide if they wish to purchase a plan, but they are not required to.

Mercer is one of a growing number of universities that offer students a cell phone plan with admission. Georgia Gwinnett College also plans to offer the technology in the fall.

The Mercer cell phone plan, which is supported by Rave Wireless and Sprint Nextel, will allow campus administrators to better communicate with students.

“Even with the land lines in [the residence halls], there was always the issue of being able to communicate with our students,” Whittum said.