Introducing Rave Guardian, a free personal safety app available to all Boise State University students and faculty.
The app provides several resources for the Boise State community, including a tip line, a safety timer, a list of emergency procedures, and a quick way to contact the Department of Public Safety or 911 .
For students who might not feel safe walking alone on campus, the Safety Timer adds an extra measure of caution. Assuming it takes 15 minutes to walk back, all the user has to do is set a timer for any duration in the app and turn it off when they have reached their destination by completely safe. If the user does not turn off their timer, an alert with the user’s GPS location is sent to the Department of Public Security.
Alternatively, a person can request that their location be sent to a “keeper” instead. Users can register a parent, friend or trusted adult as a guardian in the app.
“You can designate who your guardian is,” said Tana Monroe, director of security, policing and event operations at Boise State. “It could be the security department, it could be our public security department, but you can also decide, ‘I want my mom or my friend to be my guardian.'”
Setting a personal contact as a tutor is especially useful when the user is off campus. The security timer can be set up wherever you are, but it cannot contact Boise State unless you are near the university.
With regard to location data, Rave Guardian States that “you can only be located when you have asked for help”. The user’s location is tracked during an emergency call or after their security timer expires.
The Boise State University Crime Log shows that in 2021, there were more than a dozen reports of sexual assaults and assaults on campus, almost all of which were reported between 12:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. Rave Guardian’s Safety Timer provides a layer of protection for people walking alone on campus late at night.
If someone uses the app to contact the Department of Public Safety, either by calling them directly or appointing them as their guardian, the university will follow up to ensure the user is safe.
“Usually we send a security guard and a policeman to meet [the caller] and figure out what’s going on,” Monroe said. “But if it’s a real emergency, we still recommend people call 911.”
Rave Guardian can also be used to report tips to the Department of Public Safety. This guidance may include health violations, harassment, assault, accidents, and any other incident that an individual feels should be reported.
Those who wish to remain anonymous have the option to do so by submitting their advice anonymously to the Ministry of Public Security through the app.
In 2021, Boise State had nearly 100 reported cases of petty theft and grand theft, according to campus crime logs. The Reporting Line is an effective way to report issues such as theft to the university.
In addition to the Rave Guardian app, Boise State University still provides on-campus blue-light emergency phones that allow the user to contact the Department of Public Safety or 911.
“We seek to keep [blue-light phone] program,” Monroe said. “There are times when people don’t have their phones (or) their phones are dead, and that’s yet another option.”
Boise State isn’t the only university to use Rave Guardian. The app is used by campuses across the country. About 65% of the higher education population attends a university that uses the app, according to data from Rave Guardian.
Although the app is available to all students and teachers, not everyone has taken advantage of the app’s potential. According to Monroe, Boise State has about 1,000 active Rave Guardian users, a mere fraction of its student body.
“I strongly encourage everyone to download it,” Monroe said. “Anything we can do to make our campus safer is important.”
Monroe also mentioned the Department of Public Safety’s goal to expand the app’s functionality to include more campus resources and integrate with Bronco Alert, Boise State’s emergency notification system.