University safety is APPealing for students

In an effort to keep campus safe, the university has developed an app that can be located at and saved to your home screen.

The app allows you to call the University Police Department directly from the home screen. The app also provides instructions on what to do in case of an emergency such as an active shooter or stabbing on campus, a bomb threat, a fire or explosion or an intruder/mental health emergency.

“Of course the app alone can’t make our campus safer,” said Erin Cowser, Executive Director of Public and Governmental Affairs. “What it can do is provide people with the information and tools to use, should they ever encounter an emergency situation. In that way, it helps our faculty students and staff members make smart decisions about their safety.”

The app also includes procedures for lockdown, shelter in place, evacuation, physical injury, sexual assault, weapons on campus and weather emergencies. 

“While we hope there is never a need to utilize the information available on the app, we certainly want everyone to be prepared by having it downloaded just in case,” said Cowser.

The app was designed with students in mind since students spend so much time on their phone, and the university allowed current students of the university to help design the app so as to increase it’s appeal to students.

“The idea for the apps stand from conversations and discussions among members of the university’s emergency preparedness committee,” said Cowser. “I think one of the aspects that made it even more impressive is the fact that we enlisted the help of current students at the time who designed the backend and helped us with the utility and design. That student perspective helped us make sure it was something students would use and consider helpful.”

Recently, the university was ranked as having the safest campus in Louisiana and 15th safest in the nation. This is due to other safety measures already in place. Other safety measures include an emergency alert system that issues texts, voice calls and emails to students, faculty, staff and pre-set relatives in the event of an emergency or university closure, code-blue emergency phones located throughout campus that instantly alerts University Police to the exact location where help is needed, an outdoor PA system that broadcasts sirens or voice alerts in the event of a serious incident occurring on campus, security cameras monitored by University Police, extensive outdoor lighting throughout campus and University Police escort if students need to walk through campus alone at night.