UL joins Tulane and Georgia Tech in using a new smartphone app to create a virtual safety net of friends, family and University Police. The SGA is making the customized tool available for free to anyone with a UL email address and a smartphone. It's called the Rave Guardian Campus Safety App and it's from the company that provides UL Lafayette’s emergency notification system. Here's how it works:

“Say you’re going out on a date with a guy for the first time. You want to let someone know who you are going out with, where you are going, and what time you expect to be back,” said University Police Capt. Charles Gisclair.

“You would use the app to record that information. Suppose you plan to be home by midnight. If you don’t deactivate the timer by 12 o’clock, the app will automatically notify the designated guardian.

“The first thing the guardian would do would be to call you to see if you’re okay. If you can’t be reached, the app enables the guardian to immediately notify University Police that you’re not back home yet. That notification can be sent regardless of whether you designated University Police as a guardian.”

The University Police dispatcher on campus receives the notification. “Because this is web-based software, we can also receive the notification in our patrol units, where we have wi-fi access,” Gisclair continued.

“The only time University Police would have access to the user’s personal profile would be when the notification is activated. It gives us the user’s info. And, as long as the user’s smartphone GPS is operating, the app will ping that phone and show us where it’s located.”

The app can be downloaded from the Apple Store.