BlueLight, a tech company whose app provides safety tools and better emergency calling on campus, is commemorating Sexual Assault Awareness Month by adding ten new campuses nationwide to its network—each directly requested by students who attend the school.
The new campuses include six universities—Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Indiana Wesleyan University, Indiana University South Bend, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and University of Kentucky—and four colleges—Norco College, College of the Canyons, Concordia College, and Gustavus Adolphus College.
A mobile replacement for landline blue light towers, the BlueLight app connects students on campus directly to an emergency dispatcher at the school’s Public Safety or Police Department, along with the caller’s location and contact information (off campus, calls route to local law enforcement). The app also shares students’ location with friends and family and sends notifications when a user has safely arrived at a destination.
“Powering on these ten campuses covers over 137,000 students,” says Lauren Wilbanks, BlueLight’s Director of Communications, of the mass launch. “We see these ten campuses as a down payment on a promise to bring every school requested by a student into the BlueLight network. When you apply that math to the 450 schools where we’ve been requested so far, you start to see the impact we can make.”
Connor Regan, a student who requested Northwestern, is excited to see his request come to fruition. “I think BlueLight is an incredible technology that has the potential to make our campus and our community much safer,” he says. “From the late night walk home from a party to solo treks home after a night in University Library, students are constantly walking around campus and around Evanston alone when it’s not totally safe to do so. BlueLight lets you have safety right in the palm of your hand—plus you can share your route with a friend or roommate so they can make sure you get home safely.”
This move follows on the heels of a recent launch at Minnesota State University Moorhead, where a member of Public Safety staff led the charge. Another launch takes place this week at Kent State University: an effort spearheaded by Anhelica Rodriguez, the risk management chair of a Kent State sorority.
“I’m looking for ways to give [my sorority sisters] peace of mind,” says Rodriguez of her initiative, “to help them feel safer and take things into their own hands.”
The choice to recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month has roots in BlueLight’s origin story. The company is the culmination of years of research around personal safety technology by Preet Anand, founder and CEO of BlueLight.
“I heard the statistic that one in five women would be victims of sexual assault before they graduated and I was blown away,” says Anand. “I applied that ratio to the important women in my life and it wasn’t okay—not then, not now. While sexual violence is a complicated problem and we can’t fix all pieces of it, any dent in the problem is still really impactful.”
BlueLight directs emergency calls according to location: on campus, the call reaches campus security; off campus, local 911. On My Way, a trip sharing feature, sends location updates to user-selected contacts. Designed for both students and the general public, BlueLight currently serves nearly 100 college campuses, corporate campuses and ski resorts.
New campuses can be added to the network in a matter of days with no integration required. Students, faculty or staff interested in bringing BlueLight technology to their campuses, large or small, can request that theirs be added to the network at email@example.com. Download the app by searching ‘bluelight safety’ on the App Store or Google Play.
BlueLight is located in San Mateo, CA. Founded in 2013, the company is focused on improving personal safety and providing enhanced emergency calling through mobile solutions. Learn more at https://getbluelight.com.