New smart phone app hopes to improve campus safety
Although call boxes are located across campus, some feel that's just not good enough.
Freshman Chloe Cale recalls being scared walking around campus alone.
By: Sarah Ames
It's been a week since the shooting that took the lives of two on USC's campus. And after the tragic news of the three shot and killed at UNC yesterday, campus safety is again on the top of student's minds.
Freshman Chloe Cale says she doesn't feel safe walking alone sometimes when coming back to her dorm from the library or the Greek Village.
"Since this past event it's been a little shaky just walking back and forth to class, you know. People are kind of scared," Cale said.
Cale is one of many USC students who feels safety is becoming an issue at Carolina now more than ever. Senior Ian Buckalew feels a growing concern for his well being as the shock from last week still remains.
"I used to not. But with all of the shootings that have happened within the past couple of years, including the one just last week, I guess anything can happen," Buckalew said.
But what if a safer walk back to your house or dorm was just at your fingertips? With a generation so engaged in smartphone technology the answer may be just that. Rave Guardian is a safety application for iPhone and Android. What makes the app convenient for the Gamecock community is that it's free to all students, faculty and staff members.
The app has three main safety features. The first is a timer that allows you to set an allotted amount of time to reach your destination, and will alarm you "guardians" and USCPD if you fail to deactivate it with your four digit pin. The app allows you to select guardians from your contact list who will be notified in an emergency. The last feature is an emergency button. When activated, this alarm immediately notifies USCPD to your exact location. The app also allows you to send in tips to the authorities.
USC Police Captain Eric Grabksi helps promote and encourage the use of the app. He said that the app even works off campus. He thinks the app creates a direct line between students and Police and suggests all students and faculty should download it if they have not done so already.
"It's like having your own personal call box," Grabski said.
Grabski says the app has been very well received by USCPD, Gamecocks and, of course, parents. Cale thinks the use of a safety app such as Rave Guardian is a step in the right direction.
“I definitely think it's a really good idea. There are call boxes, not a huge amount, and some places don't even have any. So I definitely think it's a good idea," she said.
The app has been downloaded over a thousand times and many campuses nationwide use the system. Authorities hope it will have an impact on campus safety immediately. Rave Guardian can be downloaded for free at the app store.