University of Wyoming Rolls Out Campus Safety App

University of Wyoming Rolls Out Campus Safety App

If the user is walking late at night, they can set a “Safety Timer” for the amount of time they expect to be walking and alert “guardians” — which users can set as a partner, friend, parent, or even the police — of their destination and expected arrival time.

The University of Wyoming has rolled out use of a new smartphone safety app as part of an effort to increase security on campus. The move comes after a sexual assault took place near the school’s football stadium in November.

In January, the university’s student government formed an ad hoc committee to study campus safety. Ben Wetzel, the president of the Associated Students of the University of Wyoming, said one of his goals in forming the committee was “to investigate bringing on some sort of mobile application service.”

The committee chose to work with the smartphone app Rave Guardian, which is not exclusive to the university. According to Wetzel, the app provides real-time security.

If the user is walking late at night, they can set a “Safety Timer” for the amount of time they expect to be walking and alert “guardians” — which users can set as a partner, friend, parent, or even the police — of their destination and expected arrival time.

Those guardians are then able to monitor the user’s location as they walk. If the user doesn’t reach their destination in the expected amount of time, both the guardian and the University of Wyoming Police are alerted. In addition, there is an emergency 911 button that can be pressed at any time to route the user to the UW Police Department’s dispatch.

Rave Guardian also allows users to send anonymous tips, including photos, to university police; even tips about faulty streetlights or water main breaks can be sent to the appropriate departments via the app, Wetzel said.

The university has signed a three-year contract to use the app. The cost, $6,000 per year, will come from the student government’s budget.

“Safety has always been an evolving conversation on campus,” committee co-chair Wendy Hungerford said. “This app offers students control over their own safety whether on or off campus.”

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

Digital Edition

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    August 2018

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