Michigan State University has officially unveiled its campus safety app, SafeMSU. The app was initially announced in November and includes a host of safety features, as well as a campus map and regularly updated local crime and fire logs.
According to a report from The State News, the app was originally proposed by the Michigan State University Police Department to the Associated Students of Michigan State University.
“The app was based on feedback that we had received from the community, particularly our student body, about having a safety app,” said Chris Rozman, MSUPD Public Information Officer, in a State News interview. “Because a lot of other large campuses have a safety app that they put into student’s hands.”
SafeMSU does not require an internet connection, however some features do require students to use cellular data services outside of the app.
The core safety features of the app include:
The SafeMSU app links to the university's safe ride program, and despite not being not directly integrated, students can follow a link from the app to safe ride program’s website to request a pickup.
The app also offers the ability to call the local Capital Area Transportation Service's Lot Link and Night Owl services as alternatives to the safe ride option.
Lot Link provides evening and weekend transportation to MSU parking lots that are typically difficult to travel to outside of weekday bus routes. CATA’s Night Owl service allows students to request a pickup to and from campus locations via a small bus between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays and 2:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on weekends.
Fares for the transit services cost $0.60 with a valid MSU student ID card.
The app also houses the Friend Walk feature, which enables students to designate a trusted individual to track their movements when walking across campus.
The feature can be accessed directly through the SafeMSU app, and will send a text message to the designated individual, allow them to view the user’s location, and be notified upon arrival to the destination.
Friend Walk also lets the user send an emergency text to their trusted individual at any time during their walk, as well make an emergency call via the SafeMSU app.
The app also includes separate “Emergency Contacts” and “Report a Tip” functions that enable users to access MSUPD and other emergency services.
Emergency contacts present include a 911 link and a non-emergency MSUPD phone number. The “Report a Tip” feature gives users access to an anonymous SMS “Text-A-Tip” line or toll-free tip line.
Support resources are also made available to students within the app, including student safe place contacts, and Center for Survivors and the Sexual Assault Healthcare Program.
The services aren’t directly integrated into the app, but website links and phone numbers for all support services are all available.
The alert functions in the app include updated campus plans for six different disasters or emergencies, including active shooter, bomb threat, evacuation, fire safety, suspicious package and severe weather.
These emergency plans are actively updated on a regular basis via MSUPD’s emergency management division. The MSU Alert tile allows users to check their sign-up status for MSU’s Mass Notification System, which communicates with students in emergency situations.