SGA works to bring a safety app to campus for students to use

Nicole Caporaso

Students will hopefully be able to download a demo version of a new safety mobile application for Appalachian State University by mid-March, Student Government Association Vice-President Michael Page said.

Mobile “BlueLight” apps, Lifeline and TapShield, will go to a trial run with students this semester. Photo by Dana Clarke | The Appalachian

SGA has worked since May 2013 on the app, which will notify campus police in case of an emergency.

The app, commonly referred to as the “BlueLight” app, will be demoed this semester once contracts with LifeLine Response and Tapshield are final.

The two companies offer similar services through their apps.

“Both of these companies offer an iPhone/smartphone app that sends an alarm to local police in the event of an emergency,” Page said. “They each have unique sensing and tracking capabilities to aid in providing personal safety in the event of an emergency.”

Once the app is downloaded, students will be required to enter basic personal information, which in light of a crisis, would be shared with emergency personnel. The information includes hair color, eye color, sex and ethnicity.

The app also provides GPS location of the cell phone.

Students that demo the app will be required to provide feedback to SGA so the decision of which company to go with can eventually be made.

Alyssa Frizzelle, the SGA director of student affairs, said it is SGA’s goal to offer the application to students for free.

The concept of the app was brought to Page by the previous student body president, Jake Cox, who was originally contacted by LifeLine Response.

SGA has worked with many parties, including the campus police department, the Office of Student Development, the CIO Office and the Student Safety Council to make this happen.

“[Campus officials] have been in conversations with us for the last year to make this a reality,” Frizzelle said. “I’ve personally met with or talked to over 12 separate companies to demo their apps and find the ones that may be our best fit here.”

Story: Nicole Caporaso, News Reporter

Photo: Dana Clarke, Staff Photographer