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Villanova University Launches New Safety App, Nova Safe

University also announces March 10 Emergency Preparedness Exercise

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University has launched a new app for smartphones designed to further enhance the safety and security of its campus community. “Nova Safe”—a free app available to all students, faculty, and staff in the App Store or on Google play—will help Villanova’s Department of Public Safety respond to emergency situations more quickly and provide users with important safety information instantly through the convenience of a smartphone. In addition, Villanova has also announced an upcoming, campus-wide emergency preparedness exercise, scheduled for Thursday, March 10.

“Communication is key to maintaining a safe campus,” said David Tedjeske, Villanova University’s Director of Public Safety. “Nova Safe facilitates communication with students, faculty, and staff by providing quick access to emergency procedures. The app provides multiple ways for the Villanova community to access Public Safety and to provide information about safety on campus.”

Nova Safe provides students, faculty, staff, and visitors with a faster and easier way to connect with the University’s Department of Public Safety. An important feature is that when users contact Public Safety via the app, their GPS location can be seen by a Public Safety dispatcher. This will allow Public Safety to get to the user quickly in an emergency situation. Nova Safe has seven main functions, including “submit a tip” and “shuttle locator.” Other functions include:

  • Emergency Calling/Texting: If a user makes an emergency call or texts from the app, an alert is sent, along with a map showing the user’s current location, to the Public Safety dispatcher that they may need help.
  • Crime Map: The map is an easy way to stay informed about the locations of certain types of incidents on campus.
  • Friend Watch: Lets a user’s emergency contacts know when they are out and expect to return. Users can set the Friend Watch timer and describe their activity (i.e. going for a run).
  • Check-In Instantly: Users can send a one-time text message to emergency contacts letting them know where they are. Also included in the message is a link to the user’s most recent location.
  • Emergency Procedures: Allows users to quickly access emergency procedures, and explains what actions to take for various types of emergencies which can occur on campus.

Villanova’s March 10 lockdown drill is part of the University’s ongoing efforts to test its emergency preparedness. By initiating a lockdown drill of campus, and asking community members to stay inside a secured location, Villanova will assess its ability to safeguard students, faculty, and staff in an emergency situation.

“At Villanova, we are constantly looking at ways to enhance the safety and security of our campus community,” Tedjeske added. “This emergency preparedness exercise will test our ability as a University to be ready to respond effectively in an emergency situation—should we need to lockdown campus.”

The lockdown drill is the latest in a series of emergency preparedness exercises hosted by the University. Villanova regularly tests its Nova Alert emergency text message system and hosts drills to assess its preparedness and capabilities in case of an emergency situation.

For more on the Nova Safe App and Emergency Preparedness Exercise, click here.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.