The University of Mary Washington introduces an innovative new mobile safety app to the university community beginning with the fall semester. Known as RAVE Guardian, the safety app can be downloaded free of charge by anyone in the UMW network to their smartphones.
“Ensuring a safe and secure environment is paramount at UMW,” said UMW Police Chief Michael Hall. “This app is targeted toward students, but it will provide an added level of security for anyone in the university community. We recommend that everyone take advantage of this tool.”
Once activated, the app provides the user with one-touch connection to UMW police or 911, displays the user’s GPS location and enables a text or digital image to be sent. The user also can set a safety timer to share with a selected group of friends or family members within his or her virtual safety network. For instance, before walking alone at night, a student could set the timer in order for the student’s trip to be monitored by GPS, Hall said. The timer will alert friends, family or emergency officials if the clock expires before the student has reached his or her destination.
Even with the app, Hall urges the UMW community to continue to exercise sound safety practices. Everyone should always be aware of their surroundings, watch out for each other and take precautions wherever possible. He reminds students to walk in groups, especially late at night.
In addition to the safety app, the University provides a “Blue Light” emergency phone system strategically placed throughout the Fredericksburg campus that connects automatically to the Emergency Communications Center. Members of the UMW community can ask for a Safety Escort by calling from a Blue Light phone, dialing 4444 from a campus landline or 540-654-4444 from a cell phone. The university also has adopted the UMW Alerts notification system to inform the UMW community of an emergency or inclement weather.