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The Blue & Gray Press | May 24, 2017

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RAVE Guardian app demonstrates mixed reviews among students

RAVE Guardian app demonstrates mixed reviews among students

By ARIANA BARRETT

We are all aware of the University of Mary Washington campus adopting the “RAVE Guardian” application over the summer for increased safety in the 2015-2016 academic year, but exactly how easy is it to use?

I found the directness of the application very convenient for parents to comprehend and navigate through, especially if they are not as tech savvy as their college students. It is also very quick and effortless to contact emergency personal if you find yourself in a threatening or potentially dangerous situation.

Interestingly enough, however, when I found myself walking down College Avenue after sunset, I set a timer for my guardian to expect when I should reach my residence hall, but reached a major problem. The timer would not appear on my guardian’s phone unless they accepted the request. By the time my guardian accepted the request, I could already be at my destination or worse, in danger.

Freshman Ashlyn Champ, had a couple of concerns as well. Champ said that Rave Guardian’s “layout [needs to be] changed to match the interest of students [so that] it might be more popular.” Champ hits the nail on its head, for the main reason many students may not be using the application is because they are uninterested and unmotivated to use it. However, so far it seems to be pretty simple and thoroughly thought out.

Further, Champ said that she would “only really plan on using it if [she] were to walk around alone at night, which [she has] yet to do.” This is a similar reason for other students who avoid going out at night alone.

What was more troubling than the delay of the application request was the issue of location tracking. Although Rave Guardian showed my starting location, it did not track my location unless I made a physical update. So if I did end up in a dangerous situation and did not execute an update, nobody would have a lead on where to find me except for my last location update.

In my opinion, the application has yet to be adopted by the majority of students, especially upperclassmen, on the UMW campus because it allows guardians to know exactly where and when students are going out, which some students may not be comfortable with.

The idea of this application takes away the liberty that students received when they were dropped off by loved ones on move-in day. So while this app promotes safety, that may not be the number one priority on the minds of college students.

But many at UMW find the app very useful and comforting. Freshman Brooke Cornish says she sees it as “a great resource for students here at Mary Washington.” Although it is not 100 percent fool proof, it can be combined with UMW’s other safety features to make the journey less nerve racking, for you and your guardians.

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