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Mercyhurst University launches student safety app

Mercyhurst University has added another string to its campus security bow with the launch of the UASK student safety app. UASK, short for “University Assault Services Knowledge” is designed to help safeguard students’ personal safety on campus.

Beginning this fall, Mercyhurst will join a roster of colleges throughout the country to launch the app, and will be the first to do so in Pennsylvania. The UASK app is geared around real-time, personal security, and will provide Mercyhurst students with a number of features at their fingertips.

Included in the app are two different panic buttons, one that immediately calls local emergency personnel (911) and another that dials campus police. UASK also enables users to alert friends with emergency or notification messages and share GPS location with selected contacts. Users also have the option to store emergency medical information within the app.

In addition to emergency response functions, the app also contains contact information for confidential support and counseling, assistance resources for crime and assault reporting, and national hotlines and chat services.

The state of Pennsylvania launched the “It’s On Us PA” campaign in 2016, which invited education leaders among others to play a role in ending sexual violence. The UASK app is expected to help underpin a number of programs that Mercyhurst’s Counseling Center already manages through the state’s “It’s On Us” grant.

“We provide all kinds of information on our website and in the various programs we offer, but this kind of technology is what students use every day,” says Alice Agnew, Title IX coordinator at Mercyhurst. “It puts all kinds of resources at students’ disposal 24/7 with just the press of a finger.”

Mercyhurst joins an existing network of UASK community-based resources in Washington, DC, Arizona, Connecticut and North Dakota, as well as campus partners at Duke University and a roster of universities in the DC, Maryland, Northern Virginia region:

  • American University
  • Catholic University
  • Gallaudet University
  • Georgetown University
  • George Washington University
  • Howard University
  • Trinity Washington University
  • University of the District of Columbia
  • Bowie State University
  • University of Maryland College Park
  • Arlington County

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