Campus police rave over new safety app

RAVE

NSAM_Be A GuardianWhile SIUE is ranked 25th out of the 50 safest colleges in the United States according to SafeWise, administration and the campus police department are taking further measures to ensure the safety of all students on campus — the next step in the process being the introduction of the Rave Guardian Campus Safety app.

This innovative app allows the user to create a profile with personal information, medical conditions and contact information that can only be activated by campus police — and only in certain situations.

Once a profile is created, the user is instructed to set a “Guardian” contact. This contact can be a family member, friend or campus police. A safety timer may also be set if the user is walking across campus or in an uncomfortable situation. If the safety timer is not deactivated before it expires, the user’s Guardian contact and campus police are able to access their personal information such as medical records and location. There is also a distress button that will immediately notify campus police in the event of an emergency.

The app also enables a two-way tip line. Users can anonymously send texts and images to campus police if they witness suspicious behavior.

Police Lieutenant Dustin Brueggemann, of SIUE Police Services, said the app is extremely beneficial to campus safety. Although SIUE is rated highly for campus safety, Brueggemann says there is no such thing as being too safe.

“The app is another safety precaution for the campus.  Although there are safety precautions already in place, this app puts the distress signal in the palm of your hand as you are walking across campus at night,” Brueggemann said.

Brueggemann also said the app was comparable to the current safety precautions on campus today.

“Rave Guardian is like today’s generation of blue lights.  But instead of running to the light and pushing a button, students are able to access campus security from the phone in their hand,” Brueggemann said.

Although no emergency situations have yet called for the use of Rave Guardian, many students find the app comforting and useful when they are on campus.

Freshman biology major Megan Devore, of Marshall, said she is glad for the app, even though she has not had to use it yet.

“I have a night class on Tuesday, and I make sure I have the app ready when I am walking back to my dorm.  I’ve had it ever since I downloaded it when I came for Springboard last summer,” Devore said.

Junior biology major Madlin Anderson, of Peoria, said the app is useful because it lets her check in with her parents, who are listed as her Guardians.

“I set my parents as my Guardians. I like that it lets them know when I am out on campus at night and that I return home safe,” Anderson said.

The goal of this app is to create a virtual safety network that allows users to feel safe or have an efficient plan of action in the case of an emergency.

Junior history major Alexandra Stewart, of Terre Haute, said she first heard of the app while in Florida.

“Some of my friends were talking about the app when I was working for the Disney College Program. They said some of their friends had to use the app after being approached by some students who had been drinking. I downloaded the app at the beginning of that next semester,” Stewart said.

The Rave Guardian Campus Safety app is free to download from the Android and Apple stores, and campus police said they encourage all students and faculty to download it.

Posted: Monday, October 19, 2015 8:30 pm

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