SMART Communications, a web-based safety and communications system that works through cell phones and e-mail, has been a part of the FDU community for the past three years.
Most students know of SMART Communications through FDU Mobile, a mandatory program all resident students were required to have, which was only carried through Sprint.
At the start of the 2009 fall semester the program was no longer only available through Sprint, but through all mobile phone carriers.
“Students initiated the change. Students didn’t like the mandated FDU mobile phones. SGA on both campuses expressed frustrations. The students spoke, we listened and changed,” said Stuart Alper, Rave employee and project manager of FDU SMART Communications.
Other than making the program optional, not much has changed. Students who opt to continue using the program will still be able to access the various applications offered.
SMART Communications stands for “safety and mobile academic resource technology.”
Alper said the system does a lot of things, including accessing Blackboard from your phone. Students can have it programmed to notify them when their professors leave an announcement or post a grade to the site.
Alper explained that during heavy exam times students will no longer need to always be within five minutes of a computer. SMART Communications technology now allows students to receive class related alerts via text or e-mail.
“You can choose what classes you would like to subscribe to as well as what method you would like the message delivered to each class,” said Alper.
The SMART Communications Web site lists other applications that are available and has step-by-step directions for them.
Rave Guardian is still available to students, if they choose to continue using the program.
The application is used to “make your safe campus safer,” said Alper.
Rave Guardian works by creating a profile with information including someone’s height, weight and eye color. After a student confirms his or her cell phone number, he or she then creates a pin number for communicating with Public Safety.
If that student ever feels unsafe on campus, he or she can activate an alarm using the pin number and telling Public Safety where he or she is going and how long it will take to get there. If the student does not deactivate the alarm, Public Safety will begin to search for the student.
“You can leave a message saying your name, what you are wearing, where you are going, your room number and your roommate’s name. This way, if you do not pin out by the activated time, Public Safety can notify Florham Park police and they will be able to know your description, whereabouts and can call your RA and roommate to see if they have been in contact with you,” Alper said.
While Guardian has been available to the FDU community for three years, the only real change was that students now only have to make a phone call to activate it and no longer have to rely on global positioning, which only Sprint phones have.
In case of an emergency, there is a panic number to call which will send Public Safety to help. Students can register their cell phones and create Guardian accounts online.
“I think the Guardian and panic dial features are an excellent way for students to feel secure. FDU SMART Communications has really made a name for themselves with this service,” said Melinda Pinto, SGA president. “I think every student should take the initiative to learn more about the programs.”
In addition, phones that look similar to payphones have been installed on each floor of every residential building on campus. They are free to use and can reach any four-digit extension on campus.
There are 15 other features in the SMART Communications system. They include a program that allows students to study up to 100 questions on the go, and another program that allows students to participate in classroom polls held by their teachers.
Clubs can create individual groups that would allow them to communicate with each other the same way they do using WebCampus.
For more information on FDU SMART visit https://www.getrave.com/login/fdu.