BOZEMAN, Mont. – Montana State University recently launched a new app for smartphones called Safe Cats in an effort to increase student safety on campus.
Former student body president Kylar Clifton had a passion for making students feel safer on campus.
Clifton worked with MSU Chief of Police Frank Parrish to develop the app and it officially made its debut at freshman orientation this summer.
Though Clifton graduated in the spring of 2018, current student body president Taylor Blossom is following in his footsteps with similar determination to increase student safety.
“This is a very safe campus but we also can’t rest on our laurels. We have to continue to look at ways to improve,” Chief Parrish said.
After looking at how other universities have increased student safety, Parrish knew the next step for MSU was a smartphone app.
“Many of the key features allow the students to contact police with just the push of a button and it makes it a lot easier. If you’re in a crisis you don’t want to have to look up a number so they can just push one button,” said Parrish. “Another really great feature on this app is they can friend walk. They can have a friend monitor them as they walk across campus. It makes them feel safer and if there’s an emergency they just push a button and we will be there in moments.”
These resources have always been available to students on the MSU campus, but now, they’re right at their fingertips.
“This just puts all of those services right in one location so maybe you download the app, you know, because you did lock yourself out of your car but then you find out there’s another service on there that you could use on a different occasion and then you have access to it and its just right there on your phone,” Blossom said.
Both Parrish and Blossom have high hopes for this new app.
“What I have heard is really positive and people are just excited about the idea of it. I think because there aren’t a lot of students on campus right now we haven’t seen a whole lot of usage yet, but I’m really optimistic about what the fall is going to bring,” Blossom said.
The app is available for free in the Apple app store or Android market.