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.