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SGB announces new student safety measures - The Pitt News

SGB announces new student safety measures

SGB president Max Kneis said it took two years to finalizing the new “Rave guardian app” at Tuesday’s meeting. (Photo by Aaron Schoen | Staff Photographer)

Student Government Board member Ian Callahan announced at Tuesday’s meeting that the Rave Guardian app — an app created by Rave Mobile Safety that connects users with local security resources — is now available with features for Pitt students.

Students who download the “blue light” app will be able to share their location with a friend or guardian when they feel in danger. The app also allows students to call either the Pitt police or 911 with the touch of a button. Other features include an alert system that notifies a student’s set emergency contacts if they don’t make it home within a pre-set time frame.

SGB President Max Kneis said finalizing Pitt’s partnership with Rave Guardian took the board about two years. The board received approval for the app, which has Pitt-specific community safety features, after the University updated its emergency notification system. Callahan expressed the importance of the access to safety the app provides to students.

“It just gives that next level of safety for all students. It gives peace of mind for people who are walking alone, makes sure that there’s someone always watching out for them,” Callahan said.

Students can download the app for free through the Pitt App Store, the Apple App Store or Google Play to access better lines of communication with the Pitt police.

SGB also announced another opportunity related to student safety when board member Ciara Barry said the board will offer free self-defense classes next semester.

“A lot of our students live off campus. Walking home alone at night after a night of studying, people can feel kind of afraid or get anxiety, so just having anything that teaches students how to protect themselves is important,” Barry said.

Beyond safety updates, SGB announced its agenda to help students get through finals week.

Wellness Chair Maggie Kennedy said committee members will be handing out stress balls, hand sanitizer and handbooks about healthy studying techniques in Hillman Library for the rest of the semester. Kennedy also gave updates about another project instilled by the Wellness Committee — she said the University granted them permission to install a condom dispenser on the third floor of the William Pitt Union.

“Obviously student health has free condoms in the Wellness Center, but sometimes that can be an intimidating situation to go up there for something like that, so I’m excited that we’re gonna have this dispenser,” Kennedy said.

The Board said they will be hosting a Sustainability Week in conjunction with the Student Office of Sustainability next semester, with dates to be determined. The week will provide students an opportunity to learn about sustainability programs offered not only by the Student Office of Sustainability, but also by the Study Abroad Office, according to board member Krish Patel.

“There’s a lot of different programs that are impacting the world, and a lot more opportunities for students to do them, so we just thought it would be great if we got the Study Abroad Office to get involved,” Patel said.

Later in the meeting, Callahan announced the University has approved the creation of TEDx “salons,” small events beginning in January leading up to a main TEDx event in the spring.

Kneis ended the meeting by reminding students to take advantage of the the newest safety device available to students.

“Tell your friends, neighbors, classmates to get the app and to please use it,” Kneis said. “Be a good neighbor, be a good Panther, be a good friend, and help keep each other safe.”

There were no allocations this week.

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