Plans are in place to institute a new, technology-based campus security system in Spring 2012. The Institute has purchased the new Rave Guardian, a cellular device-based safety system from AT&T.
The mobile safety application, intended to supplement existing campus safety measures, is compatible with any cell phone and any network in the U.S.
The program is opt-in, and students are able to input personal information into student profiles, so that if the system is triggered, dispatch is provided with information such as name, physical description, health concerns, emergency contacts and best available location data to respond more effectively to distress calls. If the mobile device in use is capable, the system can provide GPS location data as well.
The system can be used in either active or passive modes. The web-based console runs on exiting dispatch monitors, meaning that the system requires no installations or increases in staff. According to the website, training for staff lasts no longer than an hour.
Students can use either the panic button, which is intended to cut down on the amount of time necessary to contact police, or the precautionary alarm, which allows student to set an alarm and disable it when arriving safely to the destination. If not disabled, the alarm will contact the police.
“I think I would try anything that could help keep our campus community more safe, especially with all of the recent Clery Safety Act notices,” said Ryan McDonnell, a second-year AE major. “My friends and I have actually been discussing the possibility of an emergency app, and it seems that this option has potential.”
The system is being used on campuses across the continental U.S., including University of Pennsylvania, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and American University.
The annual licensing fee for usage of the system for Tech is averaged at $50,000, based upon the number of students that are fully enrolled in the institution.