Over the summer, the Student Government Association and University Police will be developing a safety app called Rave Guardian. It will be part of the current Rave alert system, which sends text and e-mails about emergencies and reported crimes.
Students will be able to contact authorities immediately via the app if needed.
“It has several features that are important. One is a panic button with GPS that immediately contacts the police. So not only does it alert them but it pinpoints your location. Another is a feature called the Personal Guardian and Safety Timer in which you select some friends who will be notified that you are heading somewhere; if you don’t respond by the time you set to arrive, it will notify those friends and Campus Safety. Your friends won’t be notified if you turn off the timer once you reach your destination,” says John Drees, Director of Communications on Belknap Campus.
Universities across the country have tried the app, some with more success than others.
SGA Services Vice President, Morgan Cooksey says, “Our goal is to have it ready for incoming freshmen, because that’s the easiest way to make it accessible. Freshmen orientation is the first step in this promotion.”
The app does more than notify friends and police.
Drees says, “There’s also tip-texting, a feature which allows you to report a crime or something without anyone realizing it.”
This feature also applies to other emergencies besides crime. Students with disabilities, say a diabetic in need of insulin, can send an emergency text with their location and receive help.
“Its success will depend on how much we promote it and how much the students get behind it,” added Drees.