Reassuring Students & Staff for the Upcoming Academic Year

Video on how SafeZone helps with the return to campus

[This is a part of our continuing series helping universities prepare for the return to campus in the upcoming academic year.]

shutterstock_Student dropped off by parents_Compressed

Preparing for the New Academic Year

As universities prepare for the new academic year and the uncertainties around enrollment, leadership teams are prioritizing initiatives to help reassure students and staff it’s safe to come/return to campus. They are looking for solutions that demonstrate their commitment to meet their duty of care and are vital to student retention, recruitment and experience.

Given families’ concerns about sending their loved ones away to university during a global pandemic, it’s no wonder these initiatives are viewed by university leaders as essential to student recruitment and student retention.

Student in mask overwhelmed

Students Weighing Their Options

A recent LendEDU survey of US high school seniors who have not yet committed to a college revealed they’re considering alternatives to enrolling for a 2020 start, including 43% looking at a gap year, 41% at an online university and 37% attending a community college.

Concerns about safety are particularly striking among prospective international students. The IDP International Student Buyer Behavior Research shows the US and UK falling behind Australia, Canada and New Zealand when it comes to student perceptions of safety. It’s not enough to add more CCTV cameras or take temperatures before students enter class, the campus community wants a demonstrated and clear commitment to safety. Solutions that are easily accessible and make it quick and simple for students and staff to know where to go for assistance and who to call are valuable, particularly for those at higher risk such as international students to help bridge cultural and language gaps, as well as support lone and high risk workers.

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Building A Culture of Community & Safety

Overall, universities are striving to build a culture of community and safety across their campus. University leaders have recognized the importance of being able to point to tangible improvements made to address wellbeing concerns and enhance the overall student experience. And this need is equally important for staff as well to demonstrate the university is committed to the welfare of faculty and staff as a condition for the return to campus.

University executives are searching for proven solutions that can demonstrate their commitment to the health and safety of students and staff AND can be implemented in days not months so they can be ready in time for the new academic year. Furthermore, leadership teams want to invest in technology that has the potential to support multiple departments and that can continue to deliver value well beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

SafeZone Screenshots

SafeZone Helps You Tackle COVID-19 Challenges for the Return to Campus

To address this, CriticalArc has prepared a video to summarize how SafeZone can help you address the challenges of the Return to Campus. Although COVID-19 presents unique challenges for a university to be able to protect the health and welfare of its campus community, with SafeZone, you’ll be able to demonstrate to students, their parents and staff how you’ll help keep them safe, even with COVID-19 as an ongoing threat. These unique capabilities include:

  • Supporting visitors to campus to facilitate their check-in and compliance with COVID-19 guidelines
  • Monitoring compliance with social distancing protocols
  • Contact Tracing if/when someone has COVID symptoms, so you can see where the infected person went and who they may have exposed as they traveled across campus
  • Being able to quickly and efficiently respond to and protect those in quarantine or self-isolation due to COVID symptoms or exposure to someone with COVID-19
  • Knowing which rooms/buildings were frequented by those suspected of being infected with COVID-19 in order to coordinate a deep cleaning of the facilities
mass notification for critical incidents

Helping You Respond to a Range of Security & Safety Incidents

In addition to these requirements, each university is like a city which requires support of a range of security and health & safety scenarios such as:

  • Managing high risk individuals, those with disabilities, PEEP’s, previous victims of crime
  • Monitoring and protecting lone workers in high risk environments
  • Effectively communicating with the university community about specific issues, with the ability to target specific segments of the population
  • Providing real-time visibility of your security / campus police officers so you can respond faster and more efficiently to individual or large-scale incidents
  • Managing large, special events i.e. graduation ceremonies and sporting events
Go8, Russell Group

SafeZone is the only proven solution to deliver in all these areas. Plus, SafeZone can be implemented in days, not months and quickly interwoven into campus life. That’s why leading universities around the world, including members of the Russell Group, Group of Eight, PAC 12, SEC, and other leading higher-ed research institutions have adopted CriticalArc’s SafeZone.

One example of a university tackling this challenge is Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Joseph E Aoun, the President of Northeastern University said, “A range of new safety protocols and procedures will be put in place on our campuses. These will include use of face masks, staggered business hours, increased disinfection and cleaning, use of the SafeZone app to check into campus buildings, and large-scale deployment of testing and contact tracing.”

Implementing a Meaningful and Tangible Solution

As your university begins to finalize preparations for the return to campus, now is the time to bridge the perceived gaps in safety and make the commitment to investigate and implement a meaningful and tangible solution to demonstrate to your new and returning students, as well as faculty and staff, that your university is committed to their safety for the upcoming academic year and beyond.


Author: Glenn Farrant, CEO of CriticalArc

The Return to Campus: How SafeZone HelpsBack to Campus – Contact Tracing with SafeZone