A national organization recently released a smartphone application designed to provide students information about sexual assault support services – a commendable move in the wake of four reports of sexual assaults across campus within the first two weeks of the semester.
The UAsk application offers a tremendous amount of information – including emergency contacts and directions to local medical centers – in one single location for eight District schools, including GW.
But groundbreaking as this app is, will students feel comfortable downloading it to their smartphones? It is easy to assume that sexual assault is a rare situation that could never happen to ourselves or our loved ones. But the unfortunate reality is that sexual assault is prevalent on college campuses.
Incorporating the new application or similar resource information into the GW Mobile app would ensure more students readily have access to support services. It would make sexual assault support services more accessible to those who have already downloaded the app for other purposes, such as calling 4-RIDE, searching for classes and learning about athletics.
While the UAsk initiative is a laudable step toward educating the community and making students feel safer on campus, adding the application to the larger, more popular GW Mobile App is essential to ensure that as many students as possible receive the help that they need in time of emergency.