As the new academic year approaches, universities across the nation are amping up their security measures to ensure that students remain safe on campus. One of the ways that campuses are boosting security is through mobil safety apps, and there are seemingly as many apps as there are universities. Now, the University of Tennessee is the latest to join the mobil safety app trend, providing students, faculty and staff with a new means to communicate with university police.
The new smartphone app is called Guardian and will be available for the start of the academic year for the entire UT community. Per a report from the Knoxville News Sentinel, the app will provide an easy way to share information with police and offers reassurance to parents. The app joins an existing text-to-tip service, but the addition of the mobile app’s other safety features provides a more comprehensive service.
Features of the new app include:
- Send a tip. Students can send a text message tip, and UT police will respond through the app. Senders are not required to identify themselves to share tips.
- Call for help. An emergency button that students can click and choose between calling UT police or calling the closest E-911 center. To use this feature, callers are required to enable location services on their device and are encouraged to add information about special needs and medical conditions to inform police and medical responders.
- Choose guardians. A safety timer on the app allows users traveling to notify a pre-selected person — a friend, a family member or, if on campus, a UT police officer — if the student doesn’t check in within a set amount of time.
UT faculty, staff and students can download the Guardian app from the UT website, or find it in Google Play Store or Apple Store. To access UT-specific features, students can sign in with an official UT email address.
In addition, UT faculty, staff and students can add a mobile number to receive UT alerts as text messages. These alerts are for emergencies where people need to act immediately or to be aware of threats to their safety. The alerts also include weather and campus delays. To subscribe, users need a UT ID and password. For those without UT logins, UT alerts are posted on the university website and Twitter account.