New ‘Rave Guardian’ app looks to improve campus safety

Sara Bertsch Editor-in-Chief

Today campus officials released a new smart phone app for students and faculty that serves as an enhanced protection and emergency service.


The app, which is called Rave Guardian, allows users to provide contact information for themselves and family or friends. Users can also put in medical information, such as Type 1 diabetic or peanut allergy.



“It’s like an emergency phone on steroids,” said Don Challis, the assistant vice president of safety and security. “We want this to be successful. It will enhance the safety and security of this place.”



Students and faculty can enter their SDSU email address and it will allow them access to the customized campus settings called “Jackrabbit Guardian.”



Some primary functions of the app include a guardian feature, safety timer and emergency feature.



The Guardian feature allows users to enter in information for someone they trust. It then allows easy access with this person if the user is alone or in an unfamiliar place.



The safety timer feature sends alerts to the guardians or another specified, trustworthy user. For example: if a student is walking across campus at night, they can set the timer for how long it will take them to reach their next destination.



If they do not check in by the allotted time, the timer will go off and alert the user’s guardians. The guardians can then call and check in with the user or call authorities if they believe the user might be in danger.



The overall goal is to increase safety on campus, especially if students are feeling unsafe.



The emergency feature allows users to easily call emergency officials for help. The customized “Jackrabbit Guardian” permits app users to contact the University Police Department with a touch of a button in case of emergency. There is also access to the 911 dispatch closest to the user.



The application also allows users to send anonymous tips via text message. This can include photos if students or faculty see something suspicious on campus.



Challis advises students that in the heat of the moment it is still best to call UPD or 911 rather than send a text message.



There is a tracking feature included in the app as well, but it only turns on if the student doesn’t turn off the timer or does not check in. This will help safety officials find students if they are in danger.  



According to Challis, this is the first application of its kind in South Dakota.



“We intend to be the leaders in safety and communication,” he said.



UPD is trained and ready to support the new application, Challis said. They will treat the tips and calls in the app like 911 calls.


On Friday, Mike Adelaine, vice president for technology and safety, sent a campus-wide email notifying students of the new Guardian app.



Students who would like to download the application can find it at any app store by searching for Rave Guardian. They can also go onto the university website under Safety & Security to find a link to the app.