Tulane Emergency Alert System Sends Out Mysterious 3AM Text
By Raphael Helfand
Student responses ranged from confused to "available"
Many a peaceful slumber was shattered on Monday around 3 a.m., when a strange notification illuminated Tulane students’ unsuspecting screens. The message came from the Tulane Alert system, a platform designed to make students aware of potential emergencies by any means necessary.
During last week’s tornado scare in New Orleans East, TUAlert proved itself up to the task, stopping classes dead in their tracks to deliver students the news of their impending doom. This time, however, the service may have overstepped its boundaries.
“I got a text, I got an email, I even got a voicemail!” freshman astronomy minor Clarissa Bellwether said. “And they all just said ‘u up?’”
Most students claimed they did not answer their phones and referred to the unprecedented barrage of intimate contact from a non-human entity as “desperate,” “sad,” and “a lil thirsty.” The Rival did, however, find one young man who enjoyed the attention.
“She was trying to fuck. No doubt about it,” Ashton Chapman, a sixth-year senior who plays club lacrosse and enjoys sailing, said. When pressed on his assumption that the intentionally androgynous alert service was female, he shrugged noncommittally and claimed it had a “hot voice.”
“It was weird because I called her back a couple of times. I even shot her a few emails--the NSFW kind--but she never hit me back,” Chapman said. “She must have fallen asleep.”
As the night wore on, the alert system took to Twitter to continue exploring its newfound sentience. In a series of fortunately screen-shotted tweets, TUAlert ranged from earnest to philosophical to straight-up lonely.
Around 4 a.m., the account tweeted “TUAlert: Seriously, who up? Getting kinda lonely...” Five minutes later, another tweet appeared, reading “TUAlert: What does it all mean?” followed by six crying emojis. A string of similar posts followed, as well as a shoutout to our friend Ashton:
The troubled bot seemed to come to terms with its existence (or at least get sleepy) a little before 5 a.m., ending its tirade with one more message: “TU Alert: ALL CLEAR. going 2 bed i guess...”
No university officials were available for comment, and it remains unclear whether these antics will be repeated. For now, the Tulane community sends TUAlert its prayers as it continues its brave new search for meaning.