Boise State University announced earlier this month that it will begin using a smartphone app to augment its existing campus safety measures. The app, “Rave Guardian,” allows users to set safety timers, which alert emergency contacts and campus safety services if they expire or if the user manually calls for help. At that time, profile information (potentially including a photo and medical needs of the student) is instantly provided to responders as they locate the student and ensure their safety. Along the way, designated friends and family can check in on the location and status of the student. Users can also submit anonymous tips to police and campus security through an SMS-like interface, with support for pictures as well as text.
The app is described as a “mobile personalized blue light phone on steroids,” giving students and security services a level of interconnectivity not seen yet. It’s a natural fit for the Boise area, too: neighborhoodscout.com says the chance of being a victim of violent crime in Boise is about 1 in 337, which is higher than usual for the US. In comparison, the chance of being a victim of violent crime in Bothell is about 1 in 1406, which is well below average. Combined with traditional campus safety and security resources, Rave Guardian might drastically improve the well-being of both students and staff on campus.
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