A new safety app funded through the Division of Student Affairs will be coming to WKU within the next year.
Similar to Eastern Kentucky University’s LiveSafe app, RAVE Guardian will be a guide to security.
Student Government Association President Jay Todd Richey outlined the idea behind the app.
“One of the primary goals of the WKU Student Government Association is to enhance campus safety,” Richey said. “It would enable students to be proactive in reporting dangerous situations, reduce the severity of campus crime and cause students to have an additional layer of safety on campus.”
Campus police Capt. Dominic Ossello said friends and family of students can also download the app.
The app will be able to track the student’s location and tell responders where the student is located and possibly where they’re going.
Ossello said the app is not ready to be used by students yet.
“We have a meeting scheduled to go over with IT later this week. We are suppose to sit down and check out the logistics and see if we’re able to get it up and running,” he said.
Ossello also said it might be available sooner rather than later for students to access.
“We’re hoping to get it out by this time next semester,” Ossello said.
According to Ossello, the app will also be available for regional campuses to use.
Since this is a smartphone app, it will be able to work anywhere in the country, but it is designed specifically to fit WKU’s students’ needs.
“I’m just here to make sure the police know what’s going on,” Ossello said.
Elizabeth Madariaga, staff counselor in the Counseling and Testing Center, helped headline the new safety app for students.
“It provides different functions to help create a safety net for the students,” Madariaga said. “It’s not to take the place of the police officers or to keep crime from happening. It’s there to help assist students.”
Madariaga wants students to benefit from this app and use it as an extra survival tool on campus. If students feel uncertain about their safety, this resource is there to help.
Students can set a timer from when they leave a certain destination, and the app will record how long it takes them to reach their last destination. If the student fails to turn off the timer, then campus police and others to whom the student allows access can see it and respond in case danger occurred.
Madariaga agrees students will think the new app will be helpful in some situations.
“Because we’re so technological, it’s just another layer to offer students safety,” Madariaga said.
Unfortunately, the app is not available to the whole Bowling Green community.
“It’s for WKU students, faculty and staff. But the parents can be invited to join the app as well as long as you have a link to WKU community,” Madariaga said.
The app will provide calling features for campus police and 911. It will also sound an alarm on students’ phones in case they cannot reach the blue emergency towers located around campus.
Madariaga feels the safety of campus is an important endeavor for WKU to invest in.
“It’s letting students know that we care about them and what happens to them,” Madariaga said. “We’re trying to do everything we can to keep our students safe as possible.
By Marcel Mayo, 02/02/2016