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Policy on Text Messaging

Policy Category: Executive

Effective Date: 2/14/2024

Responsible Officer: Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications and Vice President of Digital Technology Services

History: New Policy

Responsible Office: Marketing and Communications and Digital Technology Services

Location: Link


This policy is intended to provide guidance to Wentworth Institute of Technology (henceforth known as “the university” or “Wentworth”) related to its use of texting students, staff, and faculty.


This policy applies to all members of the Wentworth community, students, faculty, staff, and affiliates, including prospective and admitted students, alumni, donors and potential donors, and parents.


Telephone Consumer Protection Act 47 USC S. 227


While the use of university-affiliated email accounts is the preferred form of communication at Wentworth, there are occasions in which the university may elect to send text messages. Mass texts may be sent by authorized university officials to relay important information, including, but not limited to, emergency situations, important Wentworth updates, university deadlines, notices critical to student success, and communications closely related to the mission of the university. Additionally, university officials may send targeted text messages to individual students for issues that are time sensitive.


  1. Authorized University Officials: Designated Wentworth employees and certain registered student groups who are authorized to send mass text messages. 
  2. Business Owner of a Platform: The campus department primarily responsible for day-to-day administration of a campus system. 
  3. Emergency Situation: Any situation affecting the health and safety of members of the university community. These include weather-related issues, fires, health risks, threats, and university closures.
  4. Opt-in: An action by which someone requests to receive university communications via text message. Only individuals who have opted-in to text messages will receive texts.
  5. Opt-out: An action by which someone who receives university communications via text message indicates that they no longer want to receive text messages from the university. Individuals who opt-out of a texting system will not receive text messages except in emergency situations.
  6. University Mass Text Messages: Mass text messages that are sent to a large, batched group of Wentworth community members or to the entire Wentworth community through a texting system by an authorized university official.
  7. Targeted Text Messages: Messages sent to an individual where there is a matter of an urgent nature.  


University Mass Text Messages 

  1. Digital Technology Services (DTS) and Marketing and Communications (MarCom) must review and approve any new products, or new features of an existing product capable of mass text messages prior to utilizing that feature.  
  2. All units that seek to send university mass text messages under this policy must receive permission to do so from their divisional leader. 
  3. All units that seek to send text messages must have a written plan indicating the purpose, content, and frequency of text messages that will be sent. This also includes how each unit will keep track of those who have opted out of receiving non-emergency text messages. Those who send mass text messages must also be trained as appropriate. These plans must be approved by the divisional leader, MarCom, and DTS. 
  4. A record of all texts must be kept in accordance with the Policy on Record Management. 
  5. Text messaging must not be used as the sole means of communicating an essential message or announcement. The text message must be supplemented by some other means of communication, e.g. an email or paper notice to ensure that all individuals, including those without a mobile phone, receive the message.  
  6. Except for emergency communications, only those individuals who have opted-in will receive text messages from the university. 
  7. It must be clear from the content of the message being sent that the message is from a specific office or for a specific reason (WIT) so that the recipients can see immediately from where it originated, e.g., “WIT Alert” or “WIT Admissions.” 

Emergency Communications 

  1. The Chief of Police, or their designee, may send text messages using the RAVE system for incidents that are deemed an emergency situation. 
  2. In emergency situations, Wentworth may lawfully send automated texts to wireless phone numbers without consent. 
  3. Wentworth Police Department may automatically enroll students and employees in the emergency notification service, which may include text messages solely for use in Emergency Situations. 

Non-Emergency Communications

  1. Authorized university officials may send non-emergency messages that are related to the university’s educational mission and/or official university activities if the recipient has opted into receiving messages.
  2. Authorized university officials who want to send mass text messages that are not related to an emergency situation must notify and receive permission from the business owner of the platform prior to sending and must use the designated university system.
  3. Messages must: 
    1. Be sent only to people who have opted-in; 
    2. Comply with applicable laws and regulations to reduce institutional risk; 
    3. Comply with the departmental plan; 
    4.  Allow subscribers to opt-out of receiving non-emergency messages at any time; and 
    5. Communicate that standard data and text messaging rates may apply. 
  4. Registered student organizations may send mass text messages to their membership with the members’ permission and if a method to unsubscribe is easily available to members. Texts should be limited to official business of the student group or student government.

Faculty Communication

  1. Mass texting must be limited to students who are enrolled in their class(es).
  2. Text messages from faculty to students must be class and/or advising related content.
  3. Targeted text messages must be sent through university systems, and not through personal phones.
  4. Records of text messages must be kept in accordance with the Policy on Record Management.

Targeted Text Messages

  1. University officials may send targeted text messages if students have repeatedly been unresponsive to previous communication attempts through other communicative forms.
  2. The message must be directly related to a student’s success, including but not limited to course registration, student conduct, and meetings with the student.
  3. Targeted text messages should be sent through university systems, and not through personal phones.

Registration of Cell Phone Numbers 

  1. Each semester, students are encouraged to ensure that their contact information, including their cell phone number, is correct by going to Leopard Web.
  2. Faculty and staff must provide their most recent contact information, including any changes, to Human Resources. Wentworth community members who do not have a cell phone should provide an emergency contact number that has texting capability to either the Dean of Students (for students) or Human Resources (faculty/staff).


University text messages shall not be used for:

  1. The sole means of communicating an essential university announcement.
  2. General Information.
  3. Repeat reminders of text messages already circulated.
  4. Personal matters, e.g., items for sale, farewell messages.
  5. Solicitation or commercial advertisements.
  6. Personal or confidential information, including, but not limited to social security numbers, passwords, financial information, or grades.
  7. Any other information not approved by divisional leader.


Failure to follow this policy may result in a loss of privileges and a referral to Human Resources.

 Additional Information & Related Documents

Interpretation & Revision

Any questions of interpretation regarding this policy shall be referred to Marketing and Communications. They will be the final authority regarding the interpretation of this policy.   

This policy shall be reviewed every 3 years; however, minor changes and updates can be made at any time.    

Wentworth will typically apply the policy in place at the time it receives a report concerning the respected policy.   

Review and Revision History

This policy was drafted by representatives from the Digital Technology Services, Student Affairs, Marketing and Communications, and Academic Affairs. This policy was reviewed by Cabinet and approved by the President on 2/14/2024.