Walking Alone On Campus At Night, There's An App For That

Apr 11, 2018

The University of Wyoming is the latest college to launch a new app aimed at preventing sexual assault. 

UW Student Body President Ben Wetzel said the Rave Guardian App works like this—if you're walking across campus and you feel unsafe, you set up a safety timer on the app.

"So it says that you’re going to take 10 minutes to walk to your location," said Wetzel. "And it sends a request to all of your guardians, 'do you wish to monitor the progress of this person?'"

Guardians are family or friends you can designate. They can then watch over you on their own smartphone.

If you fail to arrive to your destination on time, the app will automatically notify campus police and provide your GPS coordinates. The app's designed to avoid false alerts. If you get distracted and are running late, an alarm reminds you of your arrival deadline.

Mike Samp is the University’s Chief of Police. He said he thinks the app will be effective.

"Certainly given the amount of technology that’s available and utilized by our student population we thought it would be a good alternative to several escort services we have on campus," said Samp.

Colleges in Colorado and Idaho have adopted similar technology, but not everyone thinks it's worth the price tag. Wyoming will spend about $6,000 annually. The University of Wyoming is the latest college to launch a new app aimed at preventing sexual assault.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado. 

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