Blog

Utica College Magazine Recommends Personal Safety App for Students

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Utica College´s weekly student magazine, UCTangerine, is encouraging readers to download a personal safety app for students in order to stay safe on campus.

Compared with some of New York´s educational institutions, Utica College is relatively small and doesn´t have the same security concerns as its larger neighbors. However, that does not mean the College takes the safety of its students any less seriously.

Utica College has a dedicated Office of Campus Safety which is available twenty-four hours a day and contactable via courtesy phones located at the entrance to most of the campus´s buildings. There are also “Blue Light” emergency call boxes distributed throughout the campus.

Acknowledging it is not always possible to reach an emergency call point, Utica College also provides an extra level of security via a personal safety app for students. With the press of an icon, students concerned for their safety can reach the Office of Campus Safety, who will immediately know who is seeking assistance and where they are located.

The personal safety app for students can also be used to send geo-tagged tips of suspicious behavior to campus security, or as a virtual escort for students to advise “Guardians” (friends, colleagues, security personnel, etc.) of a safe arrival at their destination. The app also integrates with a Mass Notification System the College can use to quickly alert students to an emergency situation.

Is Enough Use Being Made of the Service?

It would appear so. According to the College´s most recent Campus Safety Report (PDF), there were no reported incidents of robbery, stalking or motor vehicle theft in 2016, and just one report of a burglary at an off-campus location (down from five reports in 2015 and eleven reports in 2014).

However, there were several “Title IX” offences reported last year such as dating violence (4), domestic violence (2) and forcible sex offences (2). The nature of the offences prompted the College´s weekly magazine, UCTangerine, to publish an article featuring “Tips for Staying Safe on Campus”.

The author of the article highlighted the importance of keeping doors locked at night and also the importance of downloading and using the personal safety app for students. Although most students interviewed for the article stated they generally feel safe on campus, it was recommended students stayed aware of their surroundings and refrained from wearing headphones when walking alone.

Speaking with UCTangerine in the following week´s magazine, the College´s Title IX Coordinator - Lisa Green - said: “For me, it boils down to safety. Our students live, learn and work here. If you can’t feel safe in a place you live, learn, work, that’s awful. For us, our obligation is to make sure we’re doing everything we can not only to comply [with Title IX requirements] but to create that safe environment.”

Is Your College Providing a Personal Safety App for Students?

If you are a student at Utica College, you should follow the advice of UCTangerine and download the personal safety app for students. If you are a student at any other college that does not offer this extra level of security, you should ask your safety coordinator why, and direct them to the video below which explains how Florida State University is enhancing personal safety with a branded app for students.

The Benefits of Emergency Notification Apps for Students

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Rave Guardian campus safety system can now be integrated directly with Rave Alert to provide a dual-way emergency notification apps for students.

Rave Guardian is one of the most effective campus safety systems for students. It enables students to seek urgent on-site assistance in times of emergency, contact 9-1-1 when outside campus boundaries, keep in touch with friends when they are travelling alone, and provide anonymous geo-tagged tips of suspicious behavior to security personnel - all with the tap of an icon on their mobile devices.

Dozens of educational facilities throughout the country have implemented the Rave Guardian campus safety system to complement their existing security measures and provide an extra safety layer for students. Now the Rave Guardian campus safety system can be integrated with one of the leading mass notification systems - Rave Alert - to provide a dual-way emergency notification apps for students.

What is Rave Alert?

Rave Alert is a mass notification system that colleges can use to alert students simultaneously to the risk of danger and advise them to seek a safe place of shelter or evacuate the premises. Rave Alert is IPAWS-OPEN, so in addition to receiving emergency alerts issued by the college, alerts issued by local police or by state and federal authorities are also received on the emergency notification app for students.

One of the significant advantages Rave Alert has over other mass notification systems is that security personnel can target Rave Guardian users in a specific geographical area. As college campuses can be distributed across multiple locations, this feature minimizes disruption in the event of a fire or other localized emergency and prevents unnecessary emotional distress among students.

Raising Situational Awareness and Keeping Students Safe

The integration of Rave Alert with Rave Guardian enables those involved in an emergency to provide valuable feedback to security personnel in order to raise situational awareness. Students can use the geo-tagged tip feature of Rave Guardian to alert first responders to the location of an active shooter, or the two-way connectivity of Rave Alert to direct medical professionals to those in need of assistance.

The features on the emergency notification apps for students not only help those responsible for safety and security better manage emergency situations, but help keep students safe. Due to the two-way connectivity, students caught up in an emergency situation can be guided to safety via the app, while the location tracking feature can be used to locate missing or unresponsive students.

Find Out More about Emergency Notification Apps for Students

If you are responsible for safety or security in a college, university or other educational institution, and interested in learning more about how the emergency notification apps for students can empower your campus community to be smart about safety, do not hesitate to contact us and discuss your current safety and security mechanisms with our team of technical experts.

Our team will be happy to answer any questions you have about the emergency notification apps for students and organize a free demonstration of the app in action in order that you can evaluate its benefits as they apply in your specific circumstances. It costs nothing to find out more or request a free demonstration to find out how the integration of Rave Alert with Rave Guardian can save time in an emergency situation - and potentially save lives.

Campus Safety Apps for Students with Location Tracking

Friday, November 24, 2017

The latest campus safety app for students includes a location tracking feature to determine the whereabouts of missing or unresponsive students.

Campus safety apps for students usually include multiple features to enhance the safety of students both on and off campus. Now, thanks to developments in GPS technology, the latest apps include a location tracking feature that can prove invaluable on life-threatening situations.

The location tracking feature is a key element of the safety timer function. This function enables students to set the length of time it would normally take them to travel from their current location to their intended destination.

As they are travelling, the safety timer counts down towards zero. Unless the safety timer is deactivated by the student on their safe arrival, an alert is sent to campus security advising them of a possible incident. Along with the alert, campus safety apps for students send a profile of the student and the location of the Smartphone on which the app is installed.

Once an alert is received, campus security attempt to contact the student. If there is no response, security personnel are dispatched. Fortunately, in many cases students have simply forgotten to deactivate the safety timer. However, when this is not the case, the quick alert and fast response can determine the whereabouts of the student and potentially save their life.

The Benefits of Location Tracking in an Emergency

The campus safety apps for students also now include an emergency alert feature. This feature quickly and simultaneously warns every student in the campus´s network of the risk of danger, and gives students the opportunity to evacuate the location of the emergency or find a save place of shelter.

Safety and security managers can access reporting tools that indicate who has received the alert and their location. Attempts can be made to contact students who have not acknowledged the alert via other channels of communication; and, if there is no response, the location tracking feature of the campus safety apps for students can be used to determine their whereabouts and send assistance.

In most life-threatening scenarios, the lack of an acknowledgement often indicates a student is unable to respond due to an injury or other obstacle. By being able to determine who is at the greatest risk of danger and their location, safety and security managers can quickly direct assistance to where it is needed most - again potentially saving the life of the student.

Request a Demo of our Campus Safety App for Students

The location tracking feature is not the only life-saving feature of campus safety apps for students. With the push of an icon, students can request help from campus security, call 9-1-1, or send an anonymous tip about suspicious behavior. Students can assign Guardians to their app so that friends and colleagues are also notified about their location and their safety.

If you are in a position of responsibility for on-campus safety and security, and you would like to know more about our campus safety apps for students, do not hesitate to get in touch and request a free demo of our app in action. After speaking with our technical experts, we will tailor a demonstration to match your specific circumstances and, if you choose to enhance your level of security with our campus safety app for students, design a branded portal through which students can download the app for free.

Addressing Bullying in the Nursing Profession

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Bullying in nursing is one of the major contributory factors for nurses leaving the profession according to a survey published by RNnetwork - but it is an issue that could easily be addressed.

In 2009, a study published in the Journal of Nursing Administration reported 30% of new nurses left their job within their first year, and 57% of those who remained quit the nursing profession by the end of their second year. More than a quarter of former nurses who contributed to the study (27.4%) said their decision to leave had been attributable to workplace bullying and harassment.

Fast forward almost a decade, and the RNnetwork´s “Portrait of a Modern Nurse” survey reveals a worsening picture of bullying in the nursing profession. More than half of respondents who are considering leaving the nursing professional claim their desire to leave has been influenced by bullying or harassment at work - particularly lateral bullying (nurse-to-nurse bullying).

Various studies have shown more nurses experience bullying from colleagues than do physicians or other healthcare professionals. Some have claimed there is a culture of bullying in the nursing profession in which nurses are verbally abused more frequently by each other than by patients, patients’ families and physicians - all of whom commonly abuse nurses.

What Constitutes Bullying in the Nursing Profession?

The American Nursing Association defines any type of bullying in the nursing profession as “repeated, unwanted harmful actions intended to humiliate, offend and cause distress in the recipient.” This is quite a broad definition and more detailed definitions of bullying can be found in a survey conducted by the Institute for Safe Medical Practices in 2010 which revealed:

  • 88% of the medical practitioners surveyed encountered bullying via condescending language or voice intonation.
  • 87% said they had been bullied via impatience with questions.
  • 79% felt they had been bullied by a colleague´s reluctance or refusal to answer questions.
  • 48% were subjected to strong verbal abuse.
  • 43% experienced threatening body language.
  • 4% reported being physical abused.

These findings were mirrored a year later in a Research in Nursing & Health survey which revealed the five most common forms of lateral bullying in nursing were nonverbal innuendo (raising of eyebrows, face- making), verbal affront (snide remarks, abrupt responses), undermining activities (turning away, not available), withholding information, and sabotage (deliberately setting up a negative situation).

ANA Initiative has Failed to Resolve the Issue

The increase in bullying in the nursing profession comes despite an anti-bullying initiative launched in 2015 by the American Nursing Association. The initiative´s mission statement stated the nursing profession will not tolerate violence of any kind from any source and that registered nurses and employers must collaborate in order to create a culture of respect.

The American Nursing Association also believes a culture of bullying exists in the nursing profession. The Association has produced a booklet entitled “Bullying in the Workplace: Reversing a Culture” which is primarily aimed at student nurses. The booklet is accompanied by tip cards that show various examples of lateral bullying on one side of the cards, with tips on how to respond to each example on the reverse.

The Association also wants employers to implement evidence-based strategies that prevent workplace bullying and harassment. However, developing evidence-based strategies has not been straightforward due to a lack of evidence. Whereas many nurses are willing to disclose their experiences of bullying to researchers anonymously, few report it at the time or during exit interviews.

The Majority of Bullying Goes Unreported

One of the problems with reporting bullying in the nursing profession is that 91% of the workforce is female. Unless the bullying consists of a discriminatory act against a member of a protected status group, it is not considered to be illegal. Only in Utah, Tennessee and California have workplace bullying laws been enacted that require employers to implement anti-bullying training and enforce anti-bullying policies.

Consequently the International Journal of Nursing Sciences reported in 2016 that 70% of bullying in the nursing profession goes unreported and there has been little momentum to further address the issue. By comparison, OSHA is producing an enforceable patient-on-nurse violence prevention standard after evidence was presented to Congress showing the rate of workplace violence in the healthcare industry is substantially higher than in most other industries (nearly 17,000 patient-on-nurse incidents were reported in 2016).

The seriousness of bullying in the nursing profession should not be underrated. Bullying threatens patients´ safety as well as the mental health of nurses. Nurses are four times more likely to commit suicide than women employed outside the healthcare profession. Bullying affects productivity and - due to the volume of nurses leaving the profession - the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a shortage of 1.05 million nurses by 2022. To put that figure into context, there are approximately 3 million registered nurses currently working in the United States.

Solutions to Combat Bullying in the Nursing Profession

Many nurses - particularly those new to the profession - find it difficult to speak openly and freely about bullying because of potential negative personal and professional ramifications. Due to the nature of lateral bullying, many instances of bullying in the nursing professional are a my-word-against-their-word scenario, which less experienced nurses may not feel confident about reporting.

Various solutions have been suggested to combat the culture of bullying, including anonymous report forms and a non-management peer counsel committee. It has not been explained how anonymous report forms could be actioned or what powers would be given to peer counsel committees, and potentially a more practical solution could be anonymous text apps similar to those given to students to report bullying and cyberbullying.

In some schools, the ability to anonymously text reports of bullying has resulted in incidents of bullying falling by 50%. Obviously anonymous reporting has not resolved the issue completely; but, if bullying in the nursing profession were to decline by 50%, it would have a positive impact on patient safety, nurses´ mental health and productivity; and eliminate the potential shortfall of nurses needed to keep our hospitals and medical centers running in the future.

Recommended Safety Measures for Lone Workers

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries has produced a presentation highlighting the risks and recommended safety measures for lone workers.

Lone workers are especially vulnerable to injury from workplace violence - particularly young, pregnant or disabled workers, or those for whom English is not their first language. However, with the exception of the shipbuilding industry, there are no federal laws recommending safety measures for lone workers.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says employers should check on lone workers “at regular intervals” but does not specify the frequency of “regular intervals”; and few states have introduced legislation to protect lone workers from the risk of injury.

Washington´s Late Night Retail Rule

One state that has made headway in protecting lone workers from the risk of injury is Washington. The state enacted a “Late Night Retail Rule” in 1990 which enforced a duty of care upon employers to implement security measures and procedures in order to protect lone workers employed in retail stores between the hours of 11:00pm and 6:00am.

The Rule stipulates specific security measures to discourage crime (outdoor lighting, notices about employee inaccessibility to safes, etc.) and the manner of training that should be provided to lone workers in order to increase their situational awareness and enhance their personal safety. Research published in 2009 revealed violence-related workers´ compensation claims in the Grocery Stores industry subsequently fell by more than half.

State Keen to Further Protect Lone Workers

In addition to its “Late Night Retail Rule”, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries has produced a presentation highlighting the risks and recommended safety measures for lone workers. The presentation - “Working Alone Safely: Controlling the Risks of Solitary Work” - encourages employers to develop procedures protecting the welfare of their lone workers. Among the recommendations made by the presentation, employers should:

  • Conduct risk assessments to determine if work may be done safely by lone workers.
  • Set limits and introduce control measures for what is permissible during lone work.
  • Establish a clear action plan and train lone workers on what to do in the event of an emergency.
  • Require supervisors to make periodic visits to observe lone workers.
  • Ensure regular contact is made between lone workers and supervisors via phone or radio.
  • Use warning devices that alert others if signals are not received periodically from a lone worker.
  • Verify lone workers have returned to a fixed base or returned home after completing a task.

OSHA Releases Advice for Protecting Healthcare Lone Workers

One exception to the general “regular intervals” advice provided by OSHA is in healthcare. In 2015, the Administration updated its “Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Services Workers” (PDF) to include a section containing twenty-eight considerations healthcare organizations should take into account when conducting a risk assessment to determine if work may be done safely by lone healthcare workers.

Again, one of the key recommended safety measures for lone workers is that they are provided with personal alarm devices and a means of communication with colleagues when assistance is required. Naturally, it would further benefit healthcare workers if they were to have a warning device that alerts others if signals are not periodically received, as this could be a life-saving tool in the event a healthcare worker sustains an injury or is involved in an accident that prevents them from using a personal alarm.

The Benefits of Safety Apps for College Students with SMS Opt-In/Opt-Out Features

Friday, November 17, 2017

The benefits of safety apps for college students with SMS opt-in/opt-out features are mostly recreational, but some can be vitally important in an emergency.

Safety apps for college students with SMS opt-in/opt-out features are a fairly recent development. They have evolved from the integration of college alert notification apps with personal safety apps that allow students to create a profile about themselves. The profiles are most commonly used for identification purposes and to note any medical conditions or special needs - such as mobility issues.

Typically all students are enrolled in the college alert notification system that warns students when an emergency happens on campus. The alerts are sent via multiple channels of communication, but some college alert notification systems provide the option for students to opt-out of receiving emergency alerts by SMS by texting a keyword (usually “STOP”) to a short code number (i.e. 12345).

The Purpose of Database Groups within a College Alert Notification System

Within a college alert notification system, students and campus personnel are often sorted into database groups depending on their role, location within the campus, or other characteristic. The reason for this is that, if - for example - a fire were to break out in one of the campus´s buildings, only the people within the building and key personnel need to be advised of the emergency.

The key personnel would include campus security, medically trained staff and CERT-qualified personnel - each of whom could have their own sub-group within the college database. By having database sub-groups, system administrators can contact - for example - medically trained staff in a single alert in the event of an accident where only medical assistance is required.

Using the Opt-In/Opt-Out Feature to Join or Leave Database Groups

The process for opting in or opting out of a database group is similar to SMS text marketing. IN SMS text marketing, consumers wanting to take advantage of a promotion text a specific keyword (i.e. “PIZZA”) to a short code number and opt-into the retailer´s text marketing database. When the consumer no longer wants to take advantage of the retailer´s promotions, they text “STOP” to the same short code number.

Students who are medically trained can volunteer to be on call in the event medical assistance is required by texting “MEDIC” to the college´s short code number. Those who are CERT-qualified can text “CERT” to the same number. The college alert notification system adds the volunteers´ details to the relative sub-group, or removes them if the student texts “STOP” when they are leaving the college.

The Recreational Benefits of Safety Apps for College Students

College alert notification systems can support an unlimited number of groups and sub-groups, offering the potential for some to be created for recreational purposes. For example, a sub-group could be created for students wishing to be updated on the fortunes of the college football team. Students could use the SMS opt-in/opt-out feature to join the sub-group before each game begins.

Other recreational benefits of safety apps for college students with opt-in/opt-out features include the opportunity to join or leave sub-groups listing social events, exchange trips and job opportunities. The options are practically limitless and, provided the college´s system administrator agrees to students´ requests, new sub-groups can be create via the management console with the click of a mouse.

As mentioned above, safety apps for college students with SMS opt-in/opt-out features are a fairly recent development; but, as word spreads about their potential, they are likely to become more commonly used to warn students when an emergency happens on campus and to encourage students to engage in more campus activities.

Californian Residents Urged to Opt Into Emergency Notification Systems

Due to issues with the WEA alerting system during the recent Californian fires, residents are being urged to opt into emergency notification systems.

In October 2017, the state of California experienced its most devastating series of wildfires for almost a century. Dozens of people lost their lives, and 90,000 people were evacuated from their homes across an area of 245,000 acres while more than 10,000 firefighters - some flown in from Canada and Australia - battled to contain the flames.

As the fires started, emergency SMS alerts were sent via the Wireless Emergency Alerting system (WEA) to residents of Orange County instructing them of a mandatory evacuation. However, no such alerts were sent to residents of counties in Northern California, where some of the worst wildfires were raging and the most significant devastation occurred.

Why the Alerts Were Not Sent in Northern California

Explaining why residents of Northern California were not alerted to the fires and told to evacuate, Chris Ipsen - a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Emergency Management Department - said many people unaffected by the fires would have received the alert, unnecessarily evacuated their properties, and caused traffic congestion that would have hindered the firefighting effort.

Ipsen commented the current WEA alerting system has issues due to using cell towers to transmit SMS alerts rather than geo-targeting - a way of delivering alerts to specific geographical locations. Although geo-targeting was scheduled to be introduced on November 1st, Ipsen says the WEA alerting system cannot support the number of characters required to embed the geographical code required.

Residents Urged to Opt Into Emergency Notification Systems

The problem with the current WEA alerting system is that emergency alerts are limited to 90 characters. If emergency alerts included the geographical code required for geo-targeting to work, it would leave very few characters to warn residents of the nature of the emergency and what action they should take (i.e. evacuate or seek a safe place of shelter).

There are plans to extend the number of characters available on the WEA alerting system, but these are not due to take effect until May 2019, and some carriers feel the changes may take a further twelve months to implement - during which time many more residents may lose their lives. For this reason, Ipsen is urging Californian residents to opt into emergency notification systems.

The Differences between WEA and Emergency Notification Systems

There are some significant differences between WEA and emergency notification systems. The first is that WEA alerting systems send SMS messages to every cellphone within a cell tower´s range, whereas emergency notification systems send alerts using multiple channels of communication, but only to residents that have opted-in to receive them.

Emergency notification systems are operated by various organizations. A town or city may have its own system, as might a business or college. Typically they are free and simple to opt-into. Residents send a text message with a keyword (i.e. “OPTIN”) to the organization´s short code text number (i.e. 123456). If a resident no longer wants to receive the emergency alerts - possibly because they are moving out of the area - they simply text the word “STOP” to the same short code number.

Advanced emergency notification systems offer residents access to web portals through which they can select how they would like to receive emergency alerts (by SMS text, voice broadcast and/or email) and their preferred choice of language. These systems also request residents enter their ZIP Codes so they are only sent alerts relevant to their geographical location.

Sadly, had the advice to opt into emergency notification systems been given prior to the October 2017 wildfires, many more lives might have been saved.

Using Campus Safety Apps for Alert Notifications

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Using campus safety apps for alert notifications is a practical way to quickly alert large number of students to the risk of danger simultaneously.

There are many different campus safety apps for alert notifications that integrate with campus alert notification networks to give alert students to the risk of danger through multiple channels of communication. Typically the multiple channels of communication include SMS text, email, voice broadcasts and digital signage (or public address audible alarms).

Although most campus safety apps for alert notifications are adequate to perform their role, there are four key features notification networks should include in order to maximize the amount of information available to students and prevent unnecessary concerns. The four key features are multi-lingual support, short and long form messaging, two-way communication and database segregation.

Multi-Lingual Campus Safety Apps for Alert Notifications

Most non-native students attending American colleges have a good understanding of English. However, in times of an emergency, their knowledge of key words or colloquialisms may be forgotten due to the nature of events happening around them. It has been well-chronicled that emotive events can lead to memory loss and that “language shock” can occur in disturbing or confusing circumstances.

For this reason, it is advisable to have multi-lingual campus safety apps for alert notifications that allow students to select in what language they would prefer to receive emergency notifications. Then, when system administrators send out emergency notifications, the app translates the notification from English to the language of the student´s choice. It is a relatively simple feature, but it could save lives.

The Benefit of Short and Long Form Messaging

As the primary channel of communication used by campus safety apps for alert notifications is SMS messaging, emergency notifications have to be limited to 160 characters. The brevity of the message is often not enough to communicate everything a system administrator wants to convey, but it is impractical to send emergency notifications in more than one SMS.

Therefore it is useful to have a notification network through which system administrators can send short form messages via SMS and simultaneously send long form messages via email. In this way students can be alerted to the risk of danger by SMS and see further information such as the recommended route of escape via their smartphone email facility.

Two-Way Communication Helps Raise Situational Awareness

One of the most effective features of campus safety apps for alert notifications in terms of incident control is two-way communication. By being able to communicate with students caught up in the emergency, incident controllers get a better idea of what is happening on the ground due to students being able to send images and video via the app.

Two-way communication is also important when students have been injured and require medical attention, or when one route of escape has been closed and another opened. Two-way communication can also be used by students to inform incident controllers they have reached a place of safety so that first responders are not sent into a dangerous situation unnecessarily.

Database Segregation Can Prevent Unnecessary Concerns

The ability to segregate a database by location, role or other characteristic can have multiple benefits. The primary benefit is that, if an emergency situation is localized - such as a fire in a campus building - not every student in the college database has to be notified of the emergency. This not only prevents unnecessary concerns, but also minimizes disruption.

If the database is also segregated by role, system administrators can send a request to those with medical training or a CERT qualification to attend the scene, assist during the emergency and mitigate its consequences. With this feature, fewer students are seeking shelter from the incident, emergency situations are easier to control, and help is provided quicker to those most in need of assistance.

These key features of campus safety apps for alert notifications can help save resources, save time and save lives.

The History of Anonymous Tip Texting Apps for Students

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Although SMS tip texting has been around for more than a decade, it is only recently that anonymous tip texting apps for students have been made full use of.

Back in the 2000s, tip texting by SMS gained popularity among communities as a way to fight crime. In order to encourage more citizens to tip the police about suspicious activities, technology was introduced that stripped text messages of all identifying information so the tips were anonymous.

As states passed anti-bullying legislation throughout the 2000s - and later anti-cyberbullying legislation - anonymous SMS tip services expanded to enable students to report instances of bullying and other antisocial behavior such as discrimination, substance abuse, drug dealing, and weapons possession.

Tip Services Slow to Evolve with the Advent of Smartphones

Although anonymous tip texting services grew in popularity throughout the 2000s, they were slow to embrace the opportunities made possible by the advent of smartphones - primarily because the cost of the new technology. The first iPhone cost $599 to buy when it was released in 2007.

Also, both Apple and Google limited what was available in their respective app stores - Apple being initially reluctant to allow third-party developers to sell their products through the iPhone brand, and Google enforcing a limit of 50Mb of what developers could sell through the (then) “Android Market”.

Early messaging apps were rudimentary in their functionality and, although it soon became possible to set up chat groups that included a person in a position of authority, it was a long wait until dedicated anonymous tip texting apps for students were developed and integrated into personal safety apps.

New Uses for Anonymous Tip Texting Apps for Students

Once anonymous tip texting apps for students became available, new uses were found for them. A generation of schoolchildren that had grown up being able to text tip about bullying adopted the apps to send anonymous tips about sexual assaults and inappropriate student/teacher relationships.

As education authorities started to realize the value in anonymous tip texting services, they started providing services through which students could send tips anonymously about suspicious activity on campus. More forward-thinking education authorities have also distributed anonymous tip texting apps through which students can seek counselling services anonymously if they are feeling suicidal.

The integration of anonymous tip texting apps for students with personal safety apps that support GPS also has the benefit of tracking the location of a student who sends a tip, or who seeks help, and is then unobtainable. In certain circumstances, the combination of these two functions can help save time dealing with an emergency and consequently save lives.

How Will Tip Texting Apps Evolve From Here?

It is difficult to know. As well as integration with personal safety apps and GPS tracking, anonymous tip texting apps for students already allow students to take photos and videos. Ultimately they will likely become multipurpose interactive platforms supporting many different general safety mechanisms - possibly including mHealth apps that can connect injured people with medical responders.

However, for anonymous tip texting apps for students to evolve, more use must be made of them in order for developers to acknowledge there is a demand. New Jersey has the right idea - mandating public school employees must report incidents of bullying regardless of whether they occur inside or outside of school. Maybe more states ought to take this approach to ensure the safety of their students.

Smartphone Apps for Suicide Prevention for Students

Monday, November 6, 2017

Some education authorities and colleges are not taking the risk that students considering suicide will download apps containing potentially harmful content or strategies and have released their own. The state of Utah has extended a pilot program launched in 2014 to provide students with smartphone apps for suicide prevention which can now be used by all students in the state to seek help anonymously from a licensed councilor or to anonymously report suspicions about a fellow student´s mental health.

Speaking about the provision to students of smartphone apps for suicide prevention, Attorney General Sean Reyes said: “We’re both excited and hopeful that such a resource will truly provide a lifeline to students who feel that they have nowhere else to turn.” The AG´s comments were mirrored by Sen. Daniel Thatcher who had sponsored the legislation to extend the pilot scheme. Sen. Thatcher said: “No kid is going to Google ‘suicide hotline number’ when they’re in the darkest moments of their lives, but if the app is already on their phone, all they have to do is take out their phone and push one button”.

UC San Diego has also taken advantage of legislation aimed to prevent student suicides. The College´s Department of Counselling and Psychological Services has used funding made available through the Mental Health Services Act to develop and distribute a smartphone app for suicide prevention. The app includes a library of self-help literature, free online mental health screenings for a variety of concerns, and 24-hour contact details for students in need of help. Although another “promising first step” to combat student suicide, more colleges and universities need to provide similar help mechanisms.

Smartphone Apps for Suicide Prevention a “Promising First Step”

Thursday, November 2, 2017

A scientific assessment of smartphone apps for suicide prevention has concluded the current options available represent a promising first step.

Earlier this year, the Psychiatric Times published an article citing research conducted by Dr. Mark Larsen and a team from the University of New South Wales in Australia into smartphone apps for suicide prevention. The article was relevant to those concerned with student welfare, as it coincided with the release of the Center for Collegiate Mental Health´s Annual Report (PDF) which showed an increased percentage of students seeking mental health services after “seriously considering a suicide attempt”.

Increases in student suicides and suicide attempts in recent years have been well chronicled. In 2013 a study published in the Journal of College Student Psychotherapy revealed suicide was the second most common cause of fatal injury among students in the 18-24 age bracket - only narrowly ahead of fatal injuries sustained in vehicle accidents. In fact, if alcohol-related fatalities were removed from the data, suicides accounted for 75% more deaths in student communities than any other cause.

What is so significant about the Center for Collegiate Mental Health´s data was that it was collected from four hundred institutions nationwide and is the largest and most comprehensive report on college students seeking mental health services to date. With regard to the percentage of students seeking mental health services after “seriously considering a suicide attempt”, this had increased year-on-year for five consecutive years from 23.8% in 2010 / 2011 to 33.2% in 2015 / 2016.

Can Smartphone Apps Help Prevent Student Suicides?

According to Dr. Larsen and his team, the jury is still out on the effectiveness of smartphone apps for suicide prevention despite his thorough scientific assessment. To conduct the assessment, Dr. Larsen and his team searched the Google Play Store and iPhone Store for any app tagged with the keyword “suicide”. The results were screened to exclude those referring to suicide non-literally (i.e. those tagged with the keyword “suicide” for gaming content) and those containing no “interactive” suicide content.

The remaining forty-nine were sorted into categories according to their characteristics. The majority offered quick ways to obtain peer support or crisis support - although it was noted none provided a facility to contact gatekeeper services. It was also noted few smartphone apps for suicide prevention had self-screening capabilities or contained accepted mental health strategies, and only one app included a follow up strategy. Generally, the apps also lacked privacy policies and locking mechanisms.

Despite the disappointing results - and the overall view that a lack of multifaceted suicide prevention strategies represented a missed opportunity - Dr. Larsen and his team concluded the number of smartphone apps for suicide prevention currently available was a positive sign and a step in the right direction. However, the positive tone of the conclusion came with a caveat that the assessment had revealed a small number of apps containing potentially harmful content or strategies.

Rave Guardian Increases Security at U of Maryland

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The University of Maryland adds another layer of security on campus. Pat Warren reports students are now able to designate a personal guardian through a smartphone app. Walking the campus of the University of Maryland by yourself doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be alone.

“The app is called UMD Guardian, which allows students to select a personal guardian, which will then follow them from point A to point B virtually on the guardian’s device,” said Major Marc Limanski, University of Maryland Police Department

The student picks a person to receive their status information as they make their way from one location to another. It calculates the amount of time that will take, and the timer is set.

In addition, the University of Maryland Police Department can serve as a Guardian.

 “When their timer expires, it will then notify us of the student’s location, status and the breadcrumb trail, if you will, of where they were walking to and from,” said Major Limanski.

There’s also an emergency call button. The system is designed to work within the daily routines of app-savvy students.

“Rather than making a phone call, an emergency call, if someone doesn’t feel comfortable making a phone call to the police department, they can use this app to text information to our 911 center,” said Major Limanski.

The interactive features include safety alerts and a system for sending tips that doesn’t involve phone calls. This app is intended to turn a student’s phone into a virtual safety network. The app is available to all University of Maryland students, staff and faculty with active IDs.

The Rave Guardian app is available thru Apple and Google Play. For more information, CLICK HERE.

Source: WJZ News  11/27/2015

 

Safety app offers virtual buddy system, other features for students

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Some UAB students and faculty are nervous after getting alerts about two armed robberies, one on campus, the other near campus this weekend.

UAB campus police are recommending a new smartphone app that seeks to protect students on campus by using a virtual buddy system.

It’s called the Rave Guardian app. Anyone can download it to their smartphone, but UAB has customized it and made it available to all students, faculty and staff.

It has several features:

A panic button will connect you immediately to both UAB Police and Birmingham police, should they be needed.

It allows you to text police with a tip about a situation going on.

This app also allows you to select several guardians, including police, friends, and even parents in another state.

You can send a message to your guardians telling them you’re leaving class and expect to be at your car in 15 minutes. It tracks your movements and if in 15 minutes you haven’t deactivated your guardian, police are automatically notified.

“The main thing it does for me is it allows a student to take a certain level of personal responsibility for their safety and it adds just one more layer of security for everyone on campus. It’s simple to use,” Randy Pewitt with UAB Emergency Management and Safety said.

“The features are basic and that’s what we wanted. In an emergency, you don’t want to have to do a lot of thinking. You want to be able to hit a button and get some help,” Pewitt added.

Even though UAB has customized the app for their school, anyone can download it and use the general app.

UAB officials say hundreds of students are using the virtual escort feature and others have used the tip feature to alert police about concerning situations.

 

Source: wsfa.com 

U of Alabama Safer with Rave Guardian App

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

UAB campus police are recommending a new smartphone app that seeks to protect students on campus by using a virtual buddy system. It’s called the Rave Guardian app. Anyone can download it to their smartphone, but UAB has customized it and made it available to all students, faculty and staff.

 

WSFA News 12/15/2015

Tech Trends: Rave Guardian Campus Safety App

Monday, December 7, 2015

(KRON) — One of the hardest parts of parenting is seeing your kids off to college.

And parents cannot help but worry about them, especially lately with all the news of shootings taking place on campuses, as well as sexual assaults and violent hazing incidents.

Tech Trends reporter Gabe Slate shows a new mobile app that he says every student should have downloaded to their phone.

And it is one that can offer peace of mind to students and their parents, and help keep them safe.

Watch the above video to see Gabe demonstrate the Rave Guardian app on the California State University, East Bay campus.

Source: kron4.com

 

Indiana State University Launches Rave Guardian App to Increase Campus Safety

Thursday, December 3, 2015

“ISU Rave Guardian” to Enhance Protection for 14,000 Students, Faculty and Staff at One of Princeton Review’s Perennial “Best in the Midwest”

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Nov. 2, 2015  — Rave Mobile Safety (Rave), the trusted software partner for campus and public safety, today announced that Indiana State University (ISU) has deployed the Rave Guardian Campus Safety App to increase protection for its more than 14,000 students, faculty and staff.  Rave’s Guardian App – labeled “ISU Rave Guardian”- is the first and most proven technology of its kind, protecting students at more than 100 higher education institutions across the United States.

“We’ve been very pleased with Rave’s instant text messaging capabilities, so implementing Guardian was a natural next step for us,” said Joe Newport, chief of police, Indiana State University. “The university is committed to doing all it can to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff. ISU Guardian is just one more way technology can help keep the campus safe.”

Founded in 1865, Indiana State University has an urban campus located in Terre Haute, and covers more than 200 acres in the downtown area. The school is consistently ranked as one of the ‘Best in the Midwest” by the Princeton Review for more than a decade.

The Rave Guardian Campus Safety App, a patented application which uses Rave’s public safety-grade infrastructure and technology, transforms mobile phones into personal safety devices that engages an entire campus community in safety and policing efforts. It greatly improves communication and officials’ ability to respond to incidents and protect students, faculty, and staff by delivering critical information in real-time.

Rave Guardian lets users create a virtual safety network of friends, roommates, family and campus safety. Users can then set a “Safety Timer” session. Once activated, “personal guardians” in a virtual safety network can monitor a user’s status updates and location, and be notified at assigned check-in times. If the timer expires, or the user initiates a panic call, Rave Guardian automatically notifies trusted safety resources on campus.

Additional features of Rave Guardian include:

  • Anonymous Tips & Multi-Media Messaging: Allows Rave Guardian users to communicate anonymously via 2-way messaging with campus safety officials. Text and photo content is securely transmitted via Rave’s geo-redundant public-safety grade infrastructure.
  • Campus Safety Connect Button: In the event of emergency, a special “button” on a user’s mobile device immediately connects to campus safety, and a rich profile of the caller and their GPS location is automatically displayed.
  • Opt-in Safety Profiles for Faster Emergency Response: Student-created Safety Profiles containing details such as residence address and medical condition information are automatically presented to campus safety officials during emergency calls for faster, more precise response.

Rave Guardian is a fully hosted Software-as-a-Service solution. Higher education institutions deploying Rave Guardian get access to a dispatcher console configurable to their specific campus operations. The secure system easily integrates into existing procedures and student information systems. It is also accompanied by 247 customer support.

The Rave Guardian App – branded for each institution — is available for free download at the Apple App Store for iOS devices, including the iPhone/iPad and Google Play for devices running the Android operating system.

Rave Mobile Safety is the market leader in campus safety technology, a position punctuated by a 99 percent customer retention rate. The company has more than 1,200 college and university customers and its technology is responsible for an emergency communications notification system protecting more than 40 percent of the entire higher education student population in the U.S. In addition to Guardian, Rave’s campus safety products also include Rave Alert, the most reliable broadcast emergency notification solution on the market, and Rave EyeWitness, which allows students to confidentially text campus police about threats or safety issues.

“Our instant text messaging product is a tool that the students and faculty at ISU have come to rely on. The added protection of Guardian will boost safety for the entire campus,” said Tom Axbey, chief executive officer of Rave Mobile Safety. “We are very pleased to be able to provide this for all the students and staff of Indiana State University to give them greater peace of mind.”

Rave Guardian App Helps College Students Feel Safer On Campus

Thursday, December 3, 2015

A new app is sweeping college campuses across the country — and it’s all about safety.

btn_guardian_orange_demoAs CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported, student Mollie Rosenkrantz takes her smartphone everywhere, which could actually help keep her safe on campus thanks to the “Rave Guardian Campus Safety App.”

“When I park across campus, the path walking from that parking deck to where I live is kind of dark and scary at night,” Rosenkrantz said.

New Jersey’s Montclair State University recently started offering students the free “Guardian” app. It comes with an emergency button that triggers an alarm at the campus police station.

Police Chief Paul Cell said the program immediately tells officers who the student is and where he or she can be located.

“We get the entire pedigree of the person,” Cell said. “So we’ll get their name. We have a photo of what they’ll look like. And then the map here triangulates the location of the phone.”

Amarilis DeJesus, a Montclair State student, said she likes another feature on the app that lets her set a timer when she’s walking alone on campus. If she doesn’t make it to her destination in a certain amount of time, it notifies the police and her friends.

“I have night classes, so I’m walking around campus like around 10:30, 10:45 at night,” she said.

Cell admitted the majority of the time the app triggers false alarms.

“That’s OK,” he said. “We’d rather our students feel safe than take any chances.”

“Guardian” also allows students to text police anonymous tips.

EXTRA: More Info On The Rave Guardian Campus Safety App

 

Rave Mobile Safety Announces Rave Guardian App 6.0

Friday, October 30, 2015

Faster, Easier User Interface Increases Student Safety across College Campuses Nationwide

Oct. 27, 2015 Rave Mobile Safety (Rave), the trusted software partner for campus and public safety, today announced the availability of the Rave Guardian App 6.0, the campus safety solution that transforms student smartphones into personal safety devices. Available November 1st, 2015, version 6.0 includes an easier and faster user interface, multi-campus support for larger institutions and expanded report capabilities.

Rave’s Guardian App 6.0 builds on the app’s strength of putting safety resources into students’ hands. All safety actions are now on the app’s home screen, linking users to friends, campus safety or tip-line with a single button-press. In addition, the new design extends Rave Guardian’s Section 508 compliance to provide faster and easier access to vision impaired users.

“The Guardian app is widely used by employees and students on the campus of Florida State University. It provides peace of mind and helps students feel safe knowing they have a tool that connects directly to the police if help is needed,” said David Perry, chief of police at Florida State University. “We plan to implement the latest version of the app to ensure the continued safety for our student population of 42,000 and more than 13,000 full and part time employees.”

The latest version’s multi-campus support gives each campus at larger institutions separate app configurations. This links app users to the closest safety resources based on which campus they are on. In addition, Rave Guardian’s new reporting console records both aggregate and individual event history from the app, providing tools to better understand its effectiveness and use-trends. This will help safety departments determine which areas of their campuses may need extra support.

Rave Guardian is a fully hosted Software-as-a-Service solution. Higher education institutions deploying Rave Guardian get access to a dispatcher console uniquely configurable to their specific campus operations. The secure system easily integrates into existing procedures and student information systems. It is also accompanied by 247 customer support.

With more than 1,200 college and university customers, Rave Mobile Safety is the market leader in campus safety technology. Its emergency communications notification system protects more than 40 percent of the entire higher education student population in the U.S. In addition to Guardian, Rave’s campus safety products also include Rave Alert, the most reliable broadcast emergency notification solution on the market, and Rave EyeWitness, which allows students to confidentially text campus police about threats or safety issues.

“Safety on campus is our number one priority at Rave. The redesign of the Guardian app will help to ensure that all of our users feel a greater sense of protection by having it on their phones. We’re also pleased to provide greatly improved access to the app for our vision impaired users,” said Tom Axbey, chief executive officer of Rave Mobile Safety. “Everyone is concerned about safety. The latest version of our app will provide a greater sense of security across campuses nationwide.”

To learn more about how to bring Rave Guardian App 6.0 to your campus, please visit: http://www.ravemobilesafety.com/rave-guardian

About Rave Mobile Safety

Rave Mobile Safety is the most trusted safety software partner, providing innovative communication software for better emergency preparedness and faster response. Used by leading education institutes, enterprises and state and local public safety agencies, the award-winning portfolio of Rave Alert, Rave Guardian, Eyewitness, Rave Panic Button, Smart911 and SmartPrepare protects millions of individuals. Rave Mobile Safety is headquartered in Framingham, Mass. For more information, please visithttp://www.ravemobilesafety.com.

Campus police rave over new safety app

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

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

New UT App Features Designed to Enhance Campus Safety

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

NSAM_Be A GuardianThe University of Tennessee Police Department says the UT Alert emergency messaging system has had several new improvements to help enhance safety on campus.

The UT app now includes the Guardian app. Faculty, staff and students should create a safety profile in the Guardian app using their UT email address. Features include being able to send UTPD an anonymous tip by tapping the red “Emergency” button followed by the green “Send a Tip” button on the next screen. Users will then be able to type a confidential message and attach photos.

The “Call” button places an emergency call to UTPD and the “911” button calls the closest 911 center.

“I think, me, learning the campus and not knowing the ins and outs of where is safe, I honestly, think this app is going to help keep me safe,” said Matthew Maxwell, a recent transfer student.

UT Police Chief Troy Lane said many people requested that the safety timer feature be part of the app. Users can let a close friend, nearby family member, or UTPD know where they are going and for how long. They can then be notified when the user does not check in within a set amount of time.

“If people feel safer knowing that we’re just a push of a button away, they can provide us tips in another unique way, then we’re happy with that,” said Chief Troy Lane.

Lane said the app replaced their old “text to tip” system with several new features at about the same price of around $5,000. The basics are still part of the app like calling UTPD or 911 along with sending in a tip.

It’s already put some students at ease.

“You want to be able to feel safe. You want to be able to go about your day not worrying about am I going to be in harm’s way tonight?,” said Maxwell.

Users must enable location when creating their safety profile and are encouraged to add information about special needs and medical conditions. The information will then be available to police and medical responders in the event of a serious emergency.

More online: Download the UT App

Stony Brook University Expands Campus Safety with the Rave Guardian App

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Guardian App by Rave Mobile Safety Adds New Level of Security for More than 41,400 Students, Faculty and Staff at SUNY’s Main Long Island Campus

July 15, 2015 — Rave Mobile Safety (Rave), the trusted software partner for campus and public safety, today announced that Stony Brook University, a part of the State University of New York (SUNY) network, in Stony Brook, New York has deployed the Rave Guardian Campus Safety App to increase protection for its more than 41,400 students, faculty and staff.  Rave’s Guardian App, the first and most proven technology of its kind, protects students at more than 100 higher education institutions across the United States.

“We know that more than 90 percent of our campus own and rely heavily on some type of smart phone. We also strongly advocate and leverage technology to supplement the traditional law enforcement services that we provide as a department,” said Lawrence Zacarese, assistant chief of police and director of the Office of Emergency Management at Stony Brook University. “Rave Guardian works perfectly within our campus community to offer both peace of mind and a convenient personal safety system for all that work, study, and live at Stony Brook.”

Located 60 miles east of New York City, on Long Island, Stony Brook University offers students 68 majors and 80 minors. Since its founding in 1957, the university has expanded to include more than 200 major buildings with a combined area of more than 11 million gross square feet across more than 1,400 acres of land.

The Rave Guardian Campus Safety App, a patented application which uses Rave’s public safety-grade infrastructure and technology, transforms mobile phones into personal safety devices that engage an entire campus community in safety and policing efforts. It greatly improves communication and officials’ ability to respond to incidents and protect students, faculty, and staff by delivering critical information in real-time.

Rave Guardian lets users create a virtual safety network of friends, roommates, family and campus safety. Users can then set a “Safety Timer” session. Once activated, “personal guardians” in a virtual safety network can monitor a user’s status updates and location, and be notified at assigned check-in times. If the timer expires, or the user initiates a panic call, Rave Guardian automatically notifies trusted safety resources on campus.

Additional features of Rave Guardian include:

  • Anonymous Tips & Multi-Media Messaging: Allows Rave Guardian users to communicate anonymously via 2-way messaging with campus safety officials. Text and photo content is securely transmitted via Rave’s geo-redundant public-safety grade infrastructure.
  • Campus Safety Connect Button: In the event of emergency, a special “button” on a user’s mobile device immediately connects to campus safety, and a rich profile of the caller and their GPS location is automatically displayed.
  • Opt-in Safety Profiles for Faster Emergency Response: Student-created Safety Profiles containing details such as residence address and medical condition information are automatically presented to campus safety officials during emergency calls for faster, more precise response.

Rave Guardian is a fully hosted Software-as-a-Service solution. Higher education institutions deploying Rave Guardian get access to a dispatcher console configurable to their specific campus operations. The secure system easily integrates into existing procedures and student information systems. It is also accompanied by 247 customer support.

The Rave Guardian App – branded for each institution — is available for free download at the Apple App Store for iOS devices, including the iPhone/iPad and Google Play for devices running the Android operating system.

Rave Mobile Safety is the market leader in campus safety technology, a position punctuated by a 99 percent customer retention rate and more than 1,200 campuses protected. Rave’s emergency notification and safety solutions are used by colleges and universities in nearly every U.S. state. Additional campus safety products include Rave Alert, the most reliable broadcast emergency notification solution on the market, and Rave EyeWitness, which allows students to confidentially text campus police about threats or safety issues.

“With such a large student body and staff spread across a very wide area, the Rave Guardian App will give the Stony Brook University community increased peace of mind with its direct link to campus police,” said Tom Axbey, chief executive officer of Rave Mobile Safety. “We are very pleased to see more of the SUNY schools counting on Rave Guardian to bring greater protection to the community.”

DPS to Roll Out Campus Safety App

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

On April 29, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa will be able to respond to students via a cell phone app.

The Rave Guardian app is available on both Apple and Android platforms. Students can create an account using their UH email address, which configures the user’s interface for the Mānoa campus. Still, the app is not limited to UH students – anyone, including family, can create an account.

“Lots of large campuses just the same size as ours use this app and have had really great success with it, so we’re really excited to get this started and to have another way for students to not only get in touch with us, but to take ownership of their safety and their friends’ safety,” said Sarah Rice, DPS community programs manager.

She said DPS had been exploring the possibility of an app to better connect campus security with students for about six months and ultimately chose Rave Guardian. If the app works well for UH Mānoa, DPS expects that other UH campuses may follow suit.

According to the Rave Mobile Safety website, thousands of colleges and universities are currently clients.

While students can download the app and set up accounts now, Rice stressed that DPS dispatchers would not be available to respond until April 29.

How it works

First, users must set up one or more “guardian,” or the individual that will be responsible for responding in case of an emergency. Guardians can be imported from a cell phone contact list.

One function of the app is the safety timer, which works by allowing the user to choose a guardian and set a timer. If the user fails to turn off the timer before it expires, the guardian is alerted and the cell phone’s location shows up on a map, as long as location services are enabled.

Rice noted the safety timer function would work well on a date or when walking alone. The app can also be used off campus, however she said that students should select a guardian other than DPS, since they only respond to alerts at UH Mānoa.

The app’s “Emergency” page allows users to call DPS or 911 at the touch of a button. Users can also send DPS a text message tip and attach a photo.

Though Rave Guardian works to keep students safe by sharing their phone’s location, Rice said users’ privacy is protected, and DPS can only see their location if they choose to share it.

“The only time we ever see you on a map is when you call us, you text us, or if your safety timer expires, then you’ll show up on our map. Otherwise, our screen is blank and we have no way of looking people up,” she said.

Rice also said the app will make it easier for DPS to locate students who are unfamiliar with campus landmarks.

Mānoa Guardian Mobile App Promotes Campus Safety

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Department of Public Safety (DPS) introduces a new mobile safety application called Mānoa Guardian. The Mānoa Guardian app is a product of Rave Mobile Safety, a service widely used by college campuses across the country.

The Mānoa Guardian app allows users to create their own virtual safety network of friends, family, roommates and even DPS officers from their smartphone or mobile device. Users can set a “Safety Timer” session, which allows them to notify people they trust, or “Guardians,” of their expected duration at an event, their specific location, and their current safety status. If the timer expires without the user’s deactivation, the app initiates a panic call and automatically notifies UH Mānoa DPS for on-campus response. The app also allows users to communicate with DPS officers via phone or text message, so that officers may respond immediately with the critical information they need.

Although Mānoa Guardian features are available only to those who have a UH Mānoa associated email address, anyone may download the Rave Guardian app, including friends and family. The Mānoa Guardian app is free to download at the Apple App Store for iOS devices, including iPhones and iPads, and Google Play for Android devices.

The UH Mānoa Department of Public Safety truly embraces the concept of community involvement in safety, and the introduction of the Mānoa Guardian app will allow users to create their own safety community, and to get help quickly and easily when they need it most.

For more information about the app, including an informational video, please visit the DPS website.

Rave Guardian Selected by Brown University and SUNY Oswego to Better Protect Students in the Northeast

Monday, January 5, 2015

Rave’s Guardian App Now Increasing Safety for More Than 18,000 Students, Faculty and Staff in Rhode Island and New York State

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.Oct. 29, 2014 — Rave Mobile Safety (Rave), the trusted software partner for campus and public safety, today announced that Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and State University New York (SUNY) Oswego inOswego, New York have each deployed the company’s acclaimed Rave Guardian to better protect more than 18,000 students, faculty and staff. Rave Guardian is the first and most proven technology of its kind and now protects students at more than 100 higher education institutions across the United States.

“The Rave Guardian app allows users to send tips about suspicious behavior, have their locations monitored when walking on campus and call emergency response lines with one click,” said Paul Shanley, deputy chief of police for Brown University’sDepartment of Public Safety. “The app can function as a ‘virtual safewalk.'”

The patented technology uses Rave’s heralded public safety-grade infrastructure and the Rave Guardian App to transform mobile phones into personal safety devices that can also engage an entire campus community in safety and policing efforts. It greatly improves communication and officials’ ability to respond to incidents and protect students, faculty and staff, by delivering critical information in real-time.

“The new app is basically a blue light emergency system available right on your phone,” said John Rossi, police chief at SUNY Oswego. “It’s better to have it and not use it than be in a situation when you need it and don’t have it.”

Among its many features, Rave Guardian enables users to create a virtual safety network including campus safety, trusted friends and family. The Rave Guardian App lets users set a “Safety Timer” session. Once activated, the “personal guardians” in their virtual safety network can monitor the user’s status updates and location, and be notified at assigned check-in times. If the timer expires or the user initiates a panic call, Rave Guardian also automatically notifies trusted safety resources on campus. Additionally, students can use the App to send anonymous tips and photos to campus security.

Additional features of Rave Guardian include:

  • Campus Safety Connect Button: In the event of emergency, a special “button” on a user’s mobile device immediately connects to campus safety, and a rich profile of the caller and their GPS location is automatically displayed.

  • Tips & Multi-Media Messaging: Allows members of a community to communicate anonymously via 2-way messaging with campus safety officials. Text and photo content is securely transmitted via Rave’s geo-redundant public-safety grade infrastructure.

  • Safety Profiles for Faster Emergency Response: Student-created Safety Profiles contain details such as residence and medical condition information that are automatically presented to campus safety officials during an emergency call for faster, more precise response. Student Safety Profiles are available during emergencies, on and off campus, to campus safety and Smart911-enabled 9-1-1 centers nationwide. Profiles can also be augmented through Rave’s data integration tools with data sources such as student information and ID systems.

Higher Education institutions interested in deploying Rave Guardian for their students, faculty and administrators sign-up for access to the fully hosted dispatcher console and are able to brand the App, as well as configure it according their specific campus operations. The secure system easily integrates into existing procedures and student information systems. It is also accompanied by 24×7 customer support.

The latest version of the Rave Guardian App for mobile is available immediately for free at the Apple App Store for iOS devices, including the iPhone/iPad and Google Play for devices running the Android operating system.

Rave Mobile Safety is the market leader in campus safety technology, a position punctuated by a 99 percent customer retention rate and more than 1,000 campuses protected. Rave’s emergency notification and safety solutions are used by colleges and universities in nearly every U.S. state. Additional campus safety products include Rave Alert, the most reliable broadcast emergency notification solution on the market, and Rave EyeWitness, which allows students to confidentially text campus police about threats or safety issues.

“We are extremely pleased to see such strong adoption of Rave Guardian and to be trusted by so many schools to protect what’s most valuable to them – their students, faculty and staff,” said Tom Axbey, chief executive officer at Rave Mobile Safety. “Rave will never stop innovating and enabling those who keep the peace in our communities with the latest and most advanced solutions to help them perform their duties more efficiently and effectively.”

Rave Guardian Selected by The University of North Carolina to Protect Students at Flagship Campus in Chapel Hill

Monday, January 5, 2015

Rave’s Guardian App Now Increasing Safety for More Than 41,000 Students, Faculty and Staff at the Nation’s Oldest Public University

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., December 3, 2014 – Rave Mobile Safety (Rave), the trusted software partner for campus and public safety, today announced The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has deployed the company’s acclaimed Rave Guardian App to better protect its more than 41,000 students, faculty and staff. Rave Guardian is the first and most proven technology of its kind and now protects students at more than 100 higher education institutions across the United States.

“This is a very large university community, teeming with constant activity,” said Chief Jeff McCracken, director of public safety at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We want our students, employees, and security personnel to have access to the best possible campus safety tools.”

The patented technology uses Rave’s heralded public safety-grade infrastructure and the Rave Guardian App to transform mobile phones into personal safety devices that can also engage an entire campus community in safety and policing efforts. It greatly improves communication and officials’ ability to respond to incidents and protect students, faculty and staff, by delivering critical information in real-time.

“The Rave Guardian App offers features that are ideal for the mobile lifestyle of an active university community,” Chief McCracken added. “The ability to create a virtual safety network that enlists friends and peers is tremendous, and students’ parents also appreciate that they can be part of this process. With a quick tap, the ‘panic button’ puts users directly in touch with UNC Police, and ‘safety profiles’ include data that greatly improves responders’ ability to locate individuals and more effectively provide for their specific needs. Most importantly, Rave has defined campus safety technology: their resources are the most proven in the industry, and they continue to raise the bar.”

Among its many features, Rave Guardian enables users to create a virtual safety network including campus safety, trusted friends and family. The Rave Guardian App lets users set a “Safety Timer” session. Once activated, the “personal guardians” in their virtual safety network can monitor the user’s status updates and location, and be notified at assigned check-in times. If the timer expires or the user initiates a panic call, Rave Guardian also automatically notifies trusted safety resources on campus. Additionally, students can use the App to send anonymous tips and photos to campus security.

Additional features of Rave Guardian include:

  • Campus Safety Connect Button: In the event of emergency, a special “button” on a user’s mobile device immediately connects to campus safety, and a rich profile of the caller and their GPS location is automatically displayed.

  • Tips & Multi-Media Messaging: Allows members of a community to communicate anonymously via 2-way messaging with campus safety officials. Text and photo content is securely transmitted via Rave’s geo-redundant public-safety grade infrastructure.

  • Safety Profiles for Faster Emergency Response: Student-created Safety Profiles contain details such as residence and medical condition information that are automatically presented to campus safety officials during an emergency call for faster, more precise response. Student Safety Profiles are available during emergencies, on and off campus, to campus safety and Smart911-enabled 9-1-1 centers nationwide. Profiles can also be augmented through Rave’s data integration tools with data sources such as student information and ID systems.

Higher education institutions interested in deploying Rave Guardian for their students, faculty and administrators sign-up for access to the fully hosted dispatcher console and are able to brand the App, as well as configure it according their specific campus operations. The secure system easily integrates into existing procedures and student information systems. It is also accompanied by 24×7 customer support.

The latest version of the Rave Guardian App for mobile is available immediately for free at the Apple App Store for iOS devices, including the iPhone/iPad and Google Play for devices running the Android operating system.

Rave Mobile Safety is the market leader in campus safety technology, a position punctuated by a 99 percent customer retention rate and more than 1,000 campuses protected. Rave’s emergency notification and safety solutions are used by colleges and universities in nearly every U.S. state. Additional campus safety products include Rave Alert, the most reliable broadcast emergency notification solution on the market, and Rave EyeWitness, which allows students to confidentially text campus police about threats or safety issues.

“Rave is honored to help increase safety at our country’s oldest public university,” said Tom Axbey, chief executive officer at Rave Mobile Safety. “Regardless of whether you are protecting 41,000 people or 400, Rave Guardian scales effortlessly and provides innovative and robust capabilities that are sought after by institutions of all sizes.”

Account Features

Friday, December 12, 2014

Your Rave Guardian is powered by Smart911, a national safety database to help emergency responders and other safety personnel help you during an emergency.

On your account screen, you can easily change out your photo and also your school Email address if needed. You also have the ability to edit your Smart911 Safety Profile, where you can add anything you would want emergency responders to know about you in case of an emergency – things like medical conditions, allergies, disabilities, and more.

Connecting With Your Guardians

Friday, December 12, 2014

Your Guardians look out for you, and you look out for them. Add and message Guardians just like you do with your Contacts.

You can easily communicate directly or via group messaging with those you trust – including the ability to send photos.

 

Guarding Someone Else

Friday, December 12, 2014

Just like you can invite someone to check in with you, you can return the favor. When one of your Guardians sets up their own Safety Timer, you will be able to see their time, location, status, and also call or text them right away if their Safety Timer expires.

Make Emergency Calls and Send Text Tips

Friday, December 12, 2014

Call emergency officials for help if you are in trouble, and send text tips – including photos – if you see something suspicious.

Campus Safety. If your school has partnered with Rave Guardian, you may have access to one or more community safety features: Call your campus safety organization from within the app, or send them a tip – as text or even include a photo.

9-1-1 Emergency. Anyone can call 9-1-1 from within Rave Guardian. Your call will be directed to the nearest 9-1-1 call center, exactly as if you placed the call by dialing it yourself.

Rave Guardian Campus Safety App Gives UALR Students Peace of Mind

Friday, December 12, 2014

Although home may be less than 40 miles away, on campus it is a world of difference. Varnell continued, “It’s not really our natural instincts to be on guard, like everywhere you go but it’s Little Rock and you really have to be.”

“It’s 2014. Anything can happen anywhere at any time,” Officer Jennifer Lusk began. Which is why the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has launched Rave Guardian, a free campus safety app. Lusk continued, “I think universities across the nation are coming up with all kinds of ideas to try to put minds at ease.”

Crime prevention officer Jennifer Lusk gave THV11 a scenario of when a student would use it, saying, “I’m at the library and I should be back in my dorm room or my residence hall at a certain time and they will set a timer for that amount of time. If they don’t show up then an alarm goes off in dispatch and we know who the student is and that they’re in need of help.” The app tracks your location only if the alarm goes off and that is when dispatch will contact the person or send an officer to look for them.

Varnell says, “I have some night classes. Walking back on campus alone is really scary.” These two admit they have become more observant of their surroundings, especially in the wake of the recent disappearance and murder of Arkansas real estate agent Beverly Carter. Now, with this app at their fingertips, they can have peace of mind knowing someone will be there if they need help.

Cheesman said, “It makes me feel safer. Because this isn’t the best part of town.”

William & Mary Urges Students to Use the Rave Guardian App

Friday, December 12, 2014

The College of William and Mary has a new, free tool to help students feel safe. It’s called the Rave Guardian app and allows you to connect with W&M Police with one touch, send a text or photo tip.

“The app will also let you set a timer if you are alone or in an unfamiliar place, so that friends, police, or others you trust will be notified if you are late,” Ginger Ambler, the vice president for Student Affairs, explained in a message to the college community on September 29.

Ambler stressed that it’s one of many personal safety items on the college’s Emergency Management Team’s website.

“Many of us have close ties to the UVA community, and our hearts go out to all those who know and care about Hannah. The situation is also a chilling reminder that, even in seemingly safe college towns, serious crimes can and do occur,” Ambler added.

She noted that it’s important for everyone to be very aware of the surroundings, to watch out for each other and to take precautions wherever possible. Officials remind students to walk in groups, especially late at night and use resources such as Campus Escort and Steer Clear Safe Ride.

Most colleges and universities have safety resources on their Websites and you can also check with campus police for advice.

Setting and Running Your Safety Timer

Thursday, December 4, 2014

With the Safety Timer, your status & location are available to those you trust.

Set it up when you are heading somewhere unfamiliar, meeting with someone you don’t know, or any other time you would like someone to check on you.

Your Guardians will be notified if your timer expires. Remember to deactivate it when you are safe.