Southeastern launches safe campus app
Thursday, April 28, 2016
by: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University has launched an app to provide students,
faculty and staff with simple instructions and recommendations for actions to take
in the event of an on-campus emergency.
Designed by computer science students as a class project at the request of the university’s Emergency Preparedness Committee, southeastern.edu/safecampusapp is free and can be downloaded on any smart phone or device.
“What’s the one thing modern students have with them 24/7? Exactly – their phones,” said Executive Director of Public and Governmental Affairs Erin Cowser, a member of the campus committee. “For that very reason, the committee wanted something students could easily access electronically should an emergency event ever occur on campus.”
The app can direct dial the University Police Department from its home screen and from links embedded throughout its sections. Among the areas addressed on the app are suggested steps to take in the case of an active shooter or stabbing on campus, bomb threat, fire or explosion or intruder/mental health emergency. Professor Ghassan Alkadi’s computer science software engineering students Joshua Asoodeh, Ryan Craft, Alexander Gonolfi and Joshua Valladares were able to create the app that also addresses procedures to be taken for a lockdown, shelter in place, evacuation, physical injury, sexual assault, weapons on campus and weather emergencies.
“Safety for our campus community is of paramount importance, said Vice President for Administration and Finance Sam Domiano, who chairs the committee. “The directives on the app were designed so that they’re appropriate for individuals to review so they’re prepared for any potential emergency, but also so that they can be accessed immediately for instructions on how to protect yourself, who to contact and how to assist victims should a situation arise.”
The app is the newest addition to the bundle of efforts included in the university’s comprehensive approach to safety and emergency preparedness. Information on all the various offerings and endeavors can be found at southeastern.edu/safecampus.
A significant part of the overall plan are sirens located strategically across campus that will sound in the event of an emergency.
“If you hear the sound, you should check your device for information on the current situation,” said Domiano. “This is yet another reason why it’s so important to register for the Southeastern Emergency Alert System. Campus members can elect to receive emergency notifications via text and telephone in addition to the messages sent automatically to all campus email accounts.”
Students, faculty and staff can register for the system by visiting southeastern.edu/about/safe_campus/alert/.
The southeastern.edu homepage is also a source of information for situations developing on campus or weather-related warnings and updates. Additionally, updated Quick Reference Guides with tabbed categories will soon be shared with departments to use as a resource for emergency training or in the event of an actual emergency. Smaller Pocket Guides, which are a condensed version of the Quick Reference Guides will also be made available in the near future.