According to Katie Hamilton of The Lantern, Ohio State has endorsed the free safety app Rave Guardian.
According to the statement, the Rave Guardian app will include faster delivery of Buckeye Alerts and safety notices, as well as the ability for users to share their GPS location with friends or family to ensure they’re safe when they travel on and around campus. Users will be able to set a timer based on their destination that will alert their “virtual guardian” if time runs out before they arrive.
“By providing a free resource that’s at no cost to students, faculty and staff, that can add either a level of comfort or safety and security, that’s what we’re here to do,” Dan Hedman, university spokesman, said. “This is one of many things that we offer and it’s just one tool in the toolbox to enhance safety.”
The app itself is pretty straightforward. You download and enter your phone number then verify it, then it’ll use that number to verify your identity at Ohio State. Then you can choose whether or not to allow push notifications (things like Buckeye alerts) and alerts based on location (could be helpful if you aren’t familiar with your area). After that, you can check an inbox that contains safety information, set timers that’ll allow chosen ‘Guardians’ to watch over your location for an allotted time and a quick link to dialing 911. Also on the app are links to non-emergency lines, the national suicide prevention line and the poison control center. All of this aims to give students another set of eyes (or a few sets, if you choose) when they’re making trips where they don’t feel safe.
There are always other things you can do to ensure your safety, to. Call 911 if you ever feel you are in immediate danger, and share your location with a few friends if you plan on staying out late somewhere away from home. Also, if you’ve got an iPhone, you can quickly tap your lock button five times to enable an emergency countdown (this will also set off a fairly loud alarm) which will contact emergency services if you don’t cancel it.
You can find Rave Guardian by searching for it on whatever app store your device uses.