CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA) – Clemson University is encouraging its students, staff, and faculty to download the Rave Guardian app, which provides safety features.

“We chose to purchase this application and continue to encourage our students, faculty, and staff to download it so that we can ensure we’re providing the safest enforcement for them,” Sarah Custer, Clemson University’s Director of Emergency Management, said.

The app includes several features, including maps of campus, information about on-campus transportation, buttons to call 911 or the Clemson University Police Department (CUPD), and a button to access a “virtual escort.”

“This is how our students, faculty, and staff never have to walk alone,” Custer said. “In this application, individuals are able to notify their friends and family, or if they’re on campus [they can notify] CUPD, that they are walking. When they set that up, they say how long they’re going to be walking and the general area. [For example], ‘I’m walking from the grocery store back to my apartment.’ Their friends and family will receive a text message even if they have not downloaded the app. They can watch where that individual is traveling. If they’re on the route, everything is great. If they take a quick diversion to a location, they know they may need some help.”

The “virtual escort” feature can be used on and off campus.

“You can share with friends and family anywhere — whether you’re here, on vacation, or in our study abroad program all across the world,” Custer said.

Students, staff, and faculty can also submit tips about crimes through the app. Those tips can be sent anonymously.

“Each of those [tips] puts you in immediate contact with our dispatch center operators 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Custer explained. “They will chat with you just like any other messaging application.”

According to the university, nearly 1,600 students, staff, and faculty members have downloaded the app so far.

“This is a fast, easy way and the way people communicate today,” Custer said.

Rave Guardian is free and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play.