LiveSafe app and blue lights together keep campus safer

Amanda Cavoto — Arts and Entertainment Editor

The LiveSafe app was described by Chief Joseph Dooley as a “walking encyclopedia of all things Southern.”

The app was adopted by the university and introduced to the campus in June 2018 and, according to Southern’s website, it “provides students, faculty and staff with a direct connection to campus safety so that everyone can easily communicate all their safety needs. It is an easy-to-use feature help you stay safe every day and enable us to better protect you.”

Psychology major Cara Richardson, a sophomore, said the app’s feature of SafeWalk, which, according to the Southern website, is a “GPS-tagged monitoring feature to let your friends and family keep you covered until you arrive safely to your destination,” can be useful to all students, but specifically first-years.

“They’re still unsure about the campus. They could be traveling and possibly just take a wrong turn. It’s definitely a reassurance thing to have in your phone, right in your pocket, wherever you are,” Richardson said.

Some of the blue lights around campus, which are emergency telephones located throughout the university and are activated with a push of a button, have been reported broken.

“They’re in the process of being repaired. There are approximately 100 of them on campus,” Dooley said. “The system office is working on it with IT. It’s not exactly clear why they aren’t working.”

Dooley said although a few blue lights might be removed, he defends the use of them despite newer technology coming out.

“They’re in prominent locations, and they do serve a purpose, and hopefully we’ll have them all up and running soon,” he said.

Despite the blue lights being repaired and remaining throughout the campus, Dooley said he hopes the newer technology of LiveSafe will take over campus communications.

“[The blue lights] are really not used as much. It’s an older technology, so I think eventually the LiveSafe app is really where the future is heading,” Dooley said.

Although the number of students actually downloading and utilizing the app is minimal, Dooley and the entire police department are working with different programs on campus to spread the word. He said all the incoming freshmen and transfer students have been given a presentation regarding how to use and get the app.

According to Dooley, a lack of exposure is to blame for why registration for the app is low. Last month, roughly 1,500 students had signed up for the LiveSafe app, according to Dooley. In the past 30 days, there have been 561 new members and, 77 of them signed up in the past seven days alone.

“I thought the jump would be higher,” Dooley said. “It was slow.”

Dooley said that exposure of the app is all people need to see its value and create a campus-wide download.

“The company is really growing. I don’t normally advocate for one company but I think they’ve captured the things we need to help keep the campus safe,” said Dooley.

Dooley said that throughout the year there will be more exposure through presentations and workshops regarding the LiveSafe app.

Nursing major Katie Gaccione, a junior, said although she saw the email about LiveSafe, she did not really understand how to access it.

“I’ve heard of it, but I never looked into it or really know what it is or what it’s about. I feel like if it was more promoted, I feel like I would use it and other people would as well,” said Gaccione.

Photo credit: Amanda Cavoto

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