The Student Government Association and the office of Risk Intervention and Safety Education, or RISE, are introducing a new app to help students feel safer on campus.
SGA announced its partnership with app provider Rave Guardians on Tuesday. The app is already being used at multiple universities, including many in the Big 12, according to the Rave Website.
The new app can be used in locations that are not close to one of the 44 blue lights on campus. The idea is to allow students to seek help if they ever feel in danger.
“Hopefully, it’s going to be like a mobile blue light,” said Ben Sharp, student body president.
According to the Rave website, the app has multiple features, including a panic button, which automatically contacts the campus police department when pressed. Tip texting, which allows anonymous two-way tip reporting through texts and images, and a safety profile are some of the other features offered.
App users can qualify people as “guardians.” When users leave a location, they can set a safety timer. If the timer is not turned off in the allotted time for any reason, “guardians” will automatically be contacted. Guardians can also check on the app user’s progress to make sure they have arrived at their destination.
Alex DeRossi, student government external vice president, said the app allows students to notify campus safety easily because “you can pull up your app, and it’s like you’re texting the chief of police, essentially.”
The app will be adapted for Texas Tech’s campus, with a scarlet and black theme and a personalized name. SGA is currently holding a competition to pick a name for the app. For example, at Oklahoma University, the app is called the “Crimson Guardian,” according to the Rave website.
This temporary tracking system should help Texas Tech students feel safer on campus and also allow Tech Police to collect data on places students feel unsafe and improve safety there, DeRossi said.
Kimberly Simón, the director of RISE, said the intent is to introduce the app during Red Raider Orientation and formally launch it in the fall.
Simón said many students are already using apps similar to Rave Guardian, but by having an official Texas Tech app, the university will be able to better focus its safety efforts.
“It makes [safety] more convenient, more user-friendly, and more universal for a college campus,” Simón said.