Junior Drake Spangler first knew he had a passion for safety in the seventh grade when he started developing relationships with Rockville police officers around his school.
Now he is the new Ball State secretary of student safety.
The secretary of student safety reports to the Senate of Student Safety and works with University and Muncie Police to increase the security of students both on and off campus.
Spangler’s main goal as secretary is working to bring a safety app to Ball State. This app, named Clear Scholar, would bring together the multiple apps Ball State uses in an effort to make the application functions more user-friendly for Ball State students.
Josh Williams, the vice president of partnerships for Clear Scholar, said Clear Scholar provides a platform for student engagement and safety. With this app, students can access anything the university may decide to include.
For example, if Ball State were to implement this app, it would probably include a map of campus, a student rewards program, a sports calendar and a spot for general announcements — which are currently all separate apps at Ball State.
“We have completely reimagined what a mobile app could and should be for students,” Williams said.
This app also has the ability for in-app messaging and digital student ID, which would act in place of a physical ID card.
But what really caught Spangler’s attention is the app’s security feature. Spangler said this feature has a police button that can send a student's GPS location to university police so the student can be found by the closest police officer.
Spangler said this would be useful if someone doesn’t feel safe on their way home from a party late at night. They could hit the button in the app and an officer would arrive on scene shortly after.
“My main goal is to get an app on campus that can make this place safer, because everybody is on their phone, and what better way to make this campus safer than use something that everybody has?” Spangler said.
Spangler is also working to integrate students and campus police as a way to improve safety.
“We’re just seeing a bunch of negativity coming towards law enforcement and therefore, that’s coming back on [UPD],” Spangler said. “I want to figure out a way to integrate the students on campus and the police in a positive light.”
Spangler said this could be done by having a party in the residence halls at the beginning of the semester.
During these parties, police officers would give their contact information out to underclassmen living in the dorms. He hopes this passing of information would help keep campus safer.
“Everyone has their own niches,” Spangler said. “I’ve always been fascinated with the safety side.”
Contact Hannah Gunnell with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.