By Mary O’Connell
Right when the Sacred Heart freshmen moved in, they were given a new safety system called WearSafe. WearSafe is a wearable tag that allows you to call for help immediately at the press of a button. The tag is accompanied with an IOS app with various features.
It alerts friends and family by automatically sending audio files from before and after the button is pressed, gives a private GPS location and creates a situation room for them to decide what to do, such as call 911 right from the app.
All of this can be done while the tag and phone is out of sight. The WearSafe’s tag will get a silent vibration to let the user know that help is on the way.
The benefits of WearSafe are clear, but freshmen seem to have mixed emotions on it.
“As a freshman, the first thing I saw when I moved in was the WearSafe sitting on my desk,” said freshman Joe Nobile. “After opening it and reading exactly what it was, I thought it was a good product for students to have, especially in Bridgeport. However, I don’t think most freshmen will be using it. It’s something annoying to carry around.”
While WearSafe is the latest safety technology to appear at the university, there is also another existing safety app called SHU Safe. It is provided by Sacred Heart’s Public Safety and it is available on both IOS and Android. Among its features are emergency call, iReports and safety check.
With the SHUSafe app, Public Safety is able to see the whereabouts of the caller anywhere on the school property as long as the phone is connected to Sacred Heart’s Wi-Fi network.
“I used to have the app because it has a lot of good qualities, but I didn’t think I would need to use it since Public Safety is usually on Sacred Heart property anyway and campus is usually a very safe place,” said junior Catherine Fleming.
The two different systems resemble each other in terms of keeping students in the area safe, but the key differences may determine what situation each one should be used in. SHUSafe is primarily built around campus safety situations and connects with Public Safety, whereas WearSafe allows you to be in contact with friends, family and 911 at any location.
There is no denying that Sacred Heart makes its student’s safety a priority, especially with the introduction of WearSafe this fall.
Students on campus seem to agree that while it may not be something they feel they need to use at all times, it does give them a guaranteed feeling of safety.
“Honestly, I’ve never used it but I think it’s something good to have in an emergency,” said freshman Natalia Pereira.