EDWARDSVILLE., Ill. – On the first day of classes at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville, campus police introduced a new smartphone app aimed at making campus safer.

It's called Rave Guardian, and it's free to the university's 14,000 students and the staff.

It allows users to text dispatchers, instead of calling.

"It's the way everyone is talking now, so it makes it easy to call for safety if they need it," said freshman Kealy Nolfo.

The app also gives dispatchers the GPS coordinates of the user's location. Chief Kevin Schmoll of the SIUE police department says that feature can be useful if someone is too injured to too afraid to talk on the phone.

"Maybe they wouldn't call our police department if they needed assistance, but they can text and they might send information that could help solve a crime," Schmoll said.

Users can also send alerts to their close family and friends about where they're going and when they've arrived to their destination.

"Everything is at the touch of our hands. Why not use the app?" said student Reginald Hamilton.