Campus / News / November 5, 2014

Students debate necessity of Knox Guardian app

Two days after Director of Campus Safety John Schlaf made students aware of the Knox Guardian app via email, students have yet to engage with their new safety tool.

The Knox Guardian app, available through the iTunes and Google Play application stores, has multiple uses. The primary use is to enable students to share their location with friends and Campus Safety in the event that they are walking alone and feel the need for additional safety measures.

Students are also able to contact or send a tip to campus safety in the form of a text or picture. They can also reach the Galesburg Police Department in the event of an emergency.

Freshmen Emily Burns and Mariajose Bonilla said that while neither themselves nor their friends have downloaded Knox Guardian, they see merit in making the application available.

“I think I’ll still get it just in case, as a precaution in case anything happens,” Burns said.

Bonilla feels comfortable walking around Knox due to the small campus atmosphere.

“I come back from the library late a lot, but considering where I come from, LA, it’s like a lot different here,” Bonilla said.

Sophomore Gregg Miller said he’d think about downloading the app.

“I might if I think it’s useful. For my own personal safety I’m not concerned, simply because the Knox bubble is usually pretty safe. That’s usually where I’m going back and forth late at night simply because so many of my later-night activities are at Knox. Other than that, the fact that I’m six-foot-four tends to take care of things,” Miller said.

Sophomore Nathaniel Rosenberg does not have a phone capable of downloading the application, but does not believe that compromises his safety on campus.

“Is it going to interfere with their ability to reach Campus Safety? Because if not, then really it doesn’t change anything,” Rosenberg said.

Some students were skeptical about how the app would be used.

“I have mixed feelings about it. It could be good, but a lot of the time people use things like that to play jokes. There was something on Yik Yak about a stabbing or something. People could possibly use it for the wrong reasons, just to mess with Campus Safety. It could be good if people use it right,” sophomore Sarah Sanchez said.

Burns was more concerned with whether the app would work given the questionable cell phone service many students receive in Galesburg.

“If you have your cell phone on you versus running to one of the red poles for whatever reason then that makes a lot more sense, if it works,” Burns said.

Freshman Patrick Martin said that the best way he ensures that his friends are looked after is to walk around in groups at night.

Both Burns and Bonilla agreed with the safety in groups mentality.

“I tend to travel in a pack,” Burns said.

Bonilla said that some students have taken additional measures to make sure they are safe other than the app.

“Some people have pepper spray, I know a little bit of self defense,” Bonilla said.

Julian Boireau
Julian Boireau is a senior majoring in international relations and minoring in French. This is his fourth year working for TKS, having served as co-news editor during his sophomore and junior years. He has been involved in journalism for seven years, serving as opinions editor of the newspaper and editor-in-chief of the literary magazine at Palisades Charter High School in Los Angeles, California. In September 2012, Julian received press credentials to attend the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, where he reported on remarks by President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He is also the recipient of back-to-back first place awards from the Illinois College Press Association for front page layout.

Tags:  Campus Safety Knox Guardian Rave Guardian safety app

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