Throughout the years, Illinois State University has implemented an array of safety measures in order to ensure the safety of all students on campus.

Most importantly, those measures have adapted and grown with the rise of smart phones and safety apps.

With the 2019-2020 academic year in full swing, Emergency Management at ISU has launched a new app titled “Safe Redbirds” to further improve the safety of all students in our community.

“Safe Redbirds” is not only an example of technological innovation, but also it’s unique because of its interactive features like Virtual Safe Walk and Work

Alone, which are designed to provide additional security for the campus community.

The app also features a news feed and other vital emergency resources available for students.

According to the United States Department of Education, between 2015 and 2017, there were a total of 20 aggravated assaults and 65 burglaries reported by ISU as criminal on-campus offenses.

That being said, it would behoove all students on campus to download the free app as the addition of the Virtual Safe Walk option allows students to use ISU’s existing safety program for those walking alone on campus while at the same time enabling the monitoring of a student’s walk home by a friend, family member or even ISUPD.

Worrying about a friend getting home safe, especially if they are intoxicated can be stressful.

Now with the addition of the monitoring system, that concern can be partly alleviated.

Equally as innovative, the Work Alone feature will automatically send a call to a friend if a student fails to check in at their place of work within a specific time period.

ISU not only provides this interactive safety app but also provides a service called Redbird Safe Walk.

Open to all students, faculty and staff, this service provides an escort for increased safety when walking to and from on-campus locations.

For those in a hurry or who may feel uncomfortable walking with an escort, the app provides a convenient and comfortable alternative.

Arguably, almost every parent and guardian of a new student constantly worries about the safety of their child, but this new app can help calm those fears and instill even more reassurance that their kid is safe at school.

Moreover, there’s no doubt that there are students out there who think they’re too cool for a safety app or fear being mocked by friends for downloading one.

Even if students do not always utilize the app, simply having it available is a step in securing their safety.

No one can predict the future nor can every crime be prevented but it can never hurt to take every precaution necessary to ensure an individual’s safety when going home.

No thief ever said, “Well that person is too cool to rob, guess I’ll go home.”

ANDREW DOUGHERTY is a Columnist for The Vidette. Contact him at vidette_addough@ilstu.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @addough


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