Marquette Wire

BlueLight app receives mostly positive, some negative response

McKenna Oxenden, Crime Reporter

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A student uses the Blue Light app. Photo by Ben Erickson /benjamin.a.erickson@marquette.edu

A student uses the BlueLight app. Photo by Ben Erickson /benjamin.a.erickson@marquette.edu

While the new BlueLight application may be shining bright, the campus safety phones are here to stay.

The BlueLight app released earlier this year, puts a BlueLight phone in the palm of every person’s hand. It has the ability to contact Marquette Police Department within an instant in any dangerous situation.

MUPD Paul Mascari said feedback from the app has been extremely positive.

Mascari said the app was developed after multiple Office of Marketing and Communication student focus groups requested a safety app. After talking with several different software developers, the university decided to have BlueLight develop it.

Mascari said the app is a great thing for both students and the police department.

“We want to make sure we are using technology and that we are meeting students where they are, and overwhelmingly students are on electronic devices,” Mascari said.

Emma Kane, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, said the app was emphasized to the freshman class before even stepping on campus.

“I was informed about it at the preview day in June and my entire group installed them then,” she said. “Our group leader explained that even though Marquette is a pretty safe campus we are still in a city and things can happen.”

Mascari said BlueLight has already reported a significant amount of downloads from both Google Play and the Apple Store and the app is continuing to grow.

“We’re going to continue to try and push so students continue to download it, but we haven’t had any negative reaction to the app since it came out,” Mascari said.

Laurel Stofan, a senior in the College of Education, said she thinks it might take longer to get your phone out, open the app and press a button instead of going to one of the existing BlueLight phones.

Mascari said the app is in no way a replacement for the phones.

“I think there is always a place for BlueLights,” Mascari said. “Students overwhelmingly get in contact with us via cellphone, but the phones are a great back up.”

Stofan said that she does think the app is a good idea,”considering people always have their phones on their person.”

However, Stofan said she doesn’t see the usefulness of the app.

“I understand the concept that the app is supposed to help reduce people’s urgencies quicker but I don’t think an app’s going to do anything,”  Stofan said. “I think having the manpower at Marquette for security purposes really might be the only way to do that.”

The BlueLight phones are continuously tested by both officers and by software to ensure they work. If there is a problem, it is reported to IT and Facility Services.

Even with the new app, the BlueLights will continue to expand as the university does.

“It is nice to know that the app is there in case we need it. I know my parents like that I have the ap because it makes them feel better knowing it is on my phone,” Kane said. “It is nice that Marquette takes our saftey so seriously.”

“We work with project managers to insure that security standards are met the same as they currently are across campus,” Mascari said. “BlueLight phones are like car insurance. You don’t really need it until you need it.”

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