Campus Safety Guide joins ISA app

The+new+Campus+Safety+app+allows+students+to+access+resources%2C+safety+alerts%2C+and+tips.

Joe Longo

The new Campus Safety app allows students to access resources, safety alerts, and tips.

By Lilly Mashayek, Staff Writer

A new Campus Safety Guide has been added to the Illinois Student Affairs app that offers students resources to keep them safe on campus.

Patrick Wade, spokesperson for the University of Illinois Police Department, said 367 people have downloaded the safety guide since it launched Aug. 2. He said the department mainly uses the app as a way to keep students informed.

Different units across the campus have guides within the app including the Graduate College, Fraternity and Sorority Affairs and University Housing among others.

“We felt, ‘well let’s all get together and do this app and we can have it all in one place,’” Wade said.

The guide includes links to different pages on the UIPD website for students to access such as crime reports, campus safety notices and additional information about their available resources.

“We have links to our news feed, so often we’ll post different kinds of news items on our website, and those will go directly to the app,” Wade said.

The guide also includes information for students on how to keep themselves safe.

“We give information about how to register your bike, register your laptop, (and about) different classes you can take with us,” he said.

A messaging system is also available within the app, where students can find campus safety notices and crime alerts.

The safety guide is a convenient way for students to stay informed, Wade said. They also have the ability to send push notifications through the app which Wade said would most likely only be used for “dire situations.”

“There’s a lot of people on our campus who still aren’t signed up for Illini Alerts … so this is another way we can inform them if something’s going wrong,” he said. “It’s another layer to our emergency notification tools.”

Wade said the guide can help facilitate teamwork between the UIPD and the campus community, which can in turn help UIPD keep the campus safe.

“Part of that is keeping people informed,” he said. “That’s why we send out the campus safety notices … because we do want people to be aware of public safety issues when they come up.”

Other guides within the Student Affairs app are ones for the Illini Union and the Graduate College.

“(It’s) our website at your fingertips,” said Erik Riha, marketing director at the Illini Union. “It’s a way to kind of focus in on the things … people go to the most, so the calendar information, the food vendor information, that kind of stuff.”

He said one way the Illini Union, which started using the app in 2014, uses it is to inform students about events, such as Quad Day.

“Our guide is put together with new students in mind,” said Charlotte Bauer, director of communications for the Graduate College, in an email. “We also want the guide to be useful for current students, so we highlight events like the upcoming Research Live! competition and make it really easy to access our event and deadline calendars.”

Similar to the Campus Safety Guide, this is the first year the Graduate College has used the app.

“So far, it has been used over 700 times, which we are excited about because we’ve only recently started to advertise it,” Bauer said.

Riha said the app is able to compile different campus units into a single resource.

“The nice thing with the Student Affairs app is there’s multiple areas within one,” he said. “So all the other units that are part of it, so Public Safety, Graduate College, all that information is all within one app.”

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