From the president: Students should use Safety App

It comes as no surprise that a 2019 survey conducted by Pew Research Center declares that three-in-ten adults in the United States report that they are “almost constantly” online.

Think of all the ways that you use your smartphone, laptops, or other devices: connecting with friends and family through texting and messaging, scrolling social media, watching videos, checking your email, and more.

There’s an app for just about everything, and today’s college students are more connected to their devices than ever before.

While we’re now recognizing that too much of this usage can have some damaging effects on mental health, interpersonal communication, and overall connectedness, our cell phones also offer us an abundance of opportunities.

Thanks to the diligent work of our Emergency Management Team at Castleton, our cellphones now provide us with another layer of safety and security on our campus.

The Castleton Safety App provides students, faculty, and staff with a direct connection to Public Safety.

This safety-focused app provides additional tools and resources for members of our community, including a check-in function, a virtual escort, emergency calls, and an SOS feature, which sends an emergency alert to a public safety officer on duty and begins to record audio and video for two minutes.

We also use Castleton Alerts to communicate less critical information, such as snow days. 

Our hope is that this system and its varying levels of functionality encourages students to feel more comfortable communicating with public safety and is less intimidating than a phone call or hitting the blue lights located around our campus.

We understand that while these tools are fundamental pieces to our public safety resources here at Castleton, we also know that one-way messaging doesn’t have a place in today’s world and that it’s important for our public safety department to have the ability to interact and engage with students in a more dynamic, fluid, and two-way manner.

I encourage those who haven’t yet created a Castleton Alerts account to do so. Our Director of Public Safety Keith Molinari will be sending an email on Thursday, Feb. 20, with information on how to register your account so you can begin using the app and, more importantly, so that you are among the first to know if there is an emergency on campus.

– Dr. Karen M. Scolforo

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