As anyone who has ever received a timely notification alert knows, Seattle University experiences the same safety concerns as any school in the heart of a city. Alumnus Robb Monkman, MBA,’08, is working with the campus community to provide a new safety solution for students, faculty and staff.
When Robb was an undergrad at Loyola Marymount University, he lived off campus and was the victim of armed robbery. He explored what schools were doing to protect students. They were doing a lot on campus, but there weren’t many options off campus. This planted the seed that would become the React Mobile Security Solution.
According to company, “React Mobile is a free personal safety app that turns your smartphone into a powerful lifeline.” The app has a “follow-me” feature that lets you share your location with friends and family and allows them to track your location in real time. You can set up the app to remind your contacts to check in with you and send messages. There’s also the React Sidekick, a Bluetooth-enabled device that hooks to your key fob and syncs with your phone to alert Public Safety and a wide network of your contacts when you’re in trouble.
“College students have widely adopted smart phones,” Robb said. “The React Mobile app and Sidekick give you the powers of a blue light safety system in the palm of your hand, no matter how far off campus you go. The Sidekick also allows you to call for help without needing to unlock your phone which you might not be able to do in an emergency,” Robb explained. The Sidekick works up to 100 feet away from your smartphone and sends your network a ‘help me’ message with a link to your GPS location that gets updated every 20 seconds.
Seattle University Public Safety and React Mobile partnered to test the app and Sidekick this past summer by giving the devices to students and faculty. React Mobile and Seattle U gained attention for their partnership and were featured on KOMO News. You can watch the story online here.
Tim Marron, Executive Director of Public Safety, told us that he has seen a lot of devices come and go and React Mobile’s willingness to evolve makes them stand apart. Tim hopes the device can help change attitudes around campus. “This app might raise awareness. Hopefully people will think, ‘If I need to enable this app, maybe I should be aware of my surroundings and take out my headphones or take an Uber,’ ” Tim said.
Public Safety will be working with Seattle Police Department as the app and Sidekick are rolled out across campus.
The app is free and available for both iPhone and Androids. If you choose to purchase the Sidekick, the Seattle University community, including alumni, receives a 50% discount, bringing the price down to $40. To get this price, you must use this discount code when purchasing through the React Mobile website: su_sidekick2015.
If you’re interested in learning more about React Mobile or purchasing the Sidekick, visit their website.