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New initiatives added to MSU campus safety

A committee and mobile app are aimed at meeting the needs of the campus community.
Designed with feedback from students, faculty, and staff, the SafeMSU app offers access to...
Designed with feedback from students, faculty, and staff, the SafeMSU app offers access to valuable safety resources in Spartans’ hands.(Michigan State University)
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 12:28 PM EST
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State University Vice President for Public Safety and Chief of Police Marlon Lynch has announced two new initiatives aimed at enhancing the university’s commitment to Spartans’ safety.

“Our campus is a safer place when we all work together to advance a common, shared vision of what it means to be a community,” said Lynch. “These new initiatives are a direct result of the partnership and collaboration between our department and the students, faculty, and staff we serve.”

One initiative is the setting up of a Police and Public Safety Advisory Committee.

Formed based on recommendations from the Task Force on Racial Equity, the Police and Public Safety Advisory Committee will aid police leaders in setting a new strategic outlook for the department to meet the needs of the campus community.

The committee will also help raise awareness of the programs, services, and initiatives offered by the department.

Committee members will include students, faculty, and staff from a cross-section of academic departments and administrative units, along with student and employee organizations. These members represent diverse perspectives and experiences that will inform their feedback to move MSU Police and Public Safety forward. The committee is co-chaired by two student representatives.

“Student representation is so important, especially those who identify as students of color,” said Sujin Lee, a James Madison College junior and committee co-chair. “As a representative from the Multicultural Greek Council, I want to be able to be a voice of my community within this space as best as I can.”

The second initiative is the release date of the SafeMSU app.

Designed with feedback from students, faculty, and staff, the SafeMSU app offers access to valuable safety resources in Spartans’ hands.

Related: Michigan State University to release app to help with campus security, student safety.

A key feature of the app is the “virtual friend walk.” This function allows Spartans to share their current location with a friend who can follow their progress to an intended destination. The friend can also immediately contact the police if they feel there is a problem.

Other features of the app include:

  • One-touch emergency calls
  • Access to Safe Ride from the Associated Students of Michigan State University
  • Link to NightOwl from the Capital Area Transportation Authority
  • A form to send tips to the police

“I am pleased to see that the MSU police are making accessible resources that students can use to stay safe throughout their college experience,” said Matt Apostle, a senior from James Madison College and the committee’s other co-chair. “I am thankful that Chief Lynch’s team solicited student input on this application, and I am hoping that we can continue working together to improve its utility as students begin to use it.”

The app can be downloaded through the Apple Store and Google Play starting on Dec. 13. The initial rollout is available for those on or visiting the university’s East Lansing campus; future versions will be available to other MSU locations across the state.

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