February 5, 2023

University skips Blue Lights for now, opts for Security App

Student government created a bill that pushed for the creation of blue lights on campus, but Capital’s safety committee never officially approved the installation of them.

To figure out the reasoning behind this, the Chimes reached out to Erin Delffs, a chair membr on the Safety Committee. 

“In short, we haven’t planned on saying no,” Delffs said, “but we haven’t planned on where they’re going to go, or when they’re going to come in. We need to dig into the technology, the locations; that sort of thing.” 

To clarify, blue light emergency phones give the user immediate communication with the local police department, and a blue beacon is used to mark the area of the reported emergency. 

Instead of installing blue lights around campus at this time, the committee wants students to utilize an app called “Rave Guardian,” which acts as an alarm system that will notify your selected contacts, or “guardians,” that you are in trouble.

Some of the options available for submitting a tip. Screenshot by Robert Cumberlander.

After installing the app, users need to establish a list of contacts that the app can notify in case of an emergency. There’s also a feature called “safety timer” that allows your guardians to see a live map of where you’re going and the estimated time of arrival at that location. 

The app also provides a convenient method for submitting anonymous tips to Capital P.D. When users click the “submit tip” button, it will pull up a list of criminal activities. This helps to narrow down exact cases before texting information to a public safety official.

In regard to other safety measures, the committee has installed LED lighting in the parking lot of the Trinity Apartments. This came as a result of the string of break-ins that happened last fall. The idea of installing sensor lighting on campus houses along Sheridan Avenue has been brought up as well, but it has yet to be followed-up on. 

The Safety Committee has also been fixing technical issues with “the big voice,” which is a speaker system located at the top of Yochum Hall that can be used to deliver warning messages in dangerous scenarios. This safety protocol has not been utilized in quite some time, and in a lot of ways has been replaced by the CapAlert message system.

“We always review if that’s really the most effective thing to use,” Delffs said when speaking on the big voice protocol. 

While blue lights are not on the horizon, the matter can always be revisited. If the time comes when the Safety committee decides to move forward with installing the blue lights, Delffs wants to involve Student Government in every step of the way.

  • Robert Cumberlander is the Editor-in-Chief of The Chimes and a senior at Capital University, majoring in Film and Media Production with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Journalism.

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