Before fall 2018 freshman move-in, the Marquette University Police Department launched EagleEye, a free safety app for students. The app features LIMO route maps, a friend walk option and a mobile BlueLight phone for emergencies, among other safety and support resources. As of Feb. 14, the app had 1,175 downloads.
Since the development of the app, there didn’t seem to be much advertising to make the app more visible to students. MUPD and Marquette should make an increased effort to spread the word about the app to students to promote safety on campus.
In a previous Marquette Wire story, MUPD Capt. Katie Berigan said, “We went live with the app the day before freshman move-in (for the fall semester) but we were afraid that if we pushed it, then that it would get lost in the noise of the new school year.”
There will always be many happenings on campus that may cause promotions to get lost in the “noise.” However, students safety should take precedent over any other happenings.
The EagleEye app is a good way for students to be proactive and have tools in place in case of an unsafe or distressing situation. Although the app obviously can’t guarantee one’s safety at all times, it can provide students with resources to help them feel safer and more equipped to respond to potentially dangerous scenarios.
EagleEye also gives MUPD a way to increase overall student consciousness about safety. Using the features on the app and discovering more about campus can help students be more thoughtful about the decisions they make. For example, if a greater portion of freshman students downloaded the app, they may be more likely to call a LIMO rather than make a potentially dangerous trek alone at night. Learning this information during freshman orientation could help students develop safe habits.
Every safety feature that MUPD and the university offer is important not just as a resource, but also because it shows the care the university has for its students. Whether or not the resources are regularly utilized, their continued support and existence are a valuable baseline for promoting student safety. This app should be promoted rather than put on the back burner.
MUPD heavily advertises their event Coffee with a Cop as a way to create a stronger bond between MUPD and the campus community. Doing the same with EagleEye may strengthen the sense of community and campus interconnectedness.
EagleEye could also help give parents peace of mind. It can be helpful for parents to know that their children have access to these resources, especially during the transitional college time.
MUPD undoubtedly invested time and resources into this app, and if it took the time to make the app the best it can be, it should also take the time to promote the app to students. The app is too valuable a public resource to be allowed to fall into obscurity on campus.
The emphasis of promoting this app should be put on the importance of safety and having measures that are in place for students. Any potential image problems regarding the safety of Marquette’s campus would be overshadowed by the greater campus-wide awareness of personal safety and responsibility.
It is important for students to take time to learn about the safety measures that are in place on campus. The EagleEye app is a simple and streamlined experience that provides valuable information and resources regarding campus safety. MUPD and the university must make this a priority and put in the effort to help students be safer and smarter.