Higher Education: SIUE unveils personal safety app

Scott Wuerz can be reached at
Scott Wuerz can be reached at

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has introduced a new personal safety app designed to give students the highest level of security possible. The app is called SIUE-Safe — a free Rave Guardian personal safety app.

“SIUE-Safe is the perfect complement to the campus E-lert system,” said Bob Vanzo, SIUE director of administrative services. “With E-lert, we provide emergency notification to faculty, staff and students. On the other hand, SIUE-Safe allows emergency communication from faculty, staff and students to their guardians and University Police.”

The app’s capabilities include:

▪  Setting a safety timer — Notify people you trust to check in on you if you are alone or in an unfamiliar place

▪  Managing and messaging your guardians — Invite family, friends or others to be your guardian and communicate with them within the app as needed

▪  Easy emergency communication — Call safety officials directly for help if trouble arises and send text-tips, including photos, if you see something suspicious

There is no charge to download the app or to use it.

“While SIUE is already a safe campus, the Rave Guardian technology is going to make SIUE an even safer campus,” said Kevin Schmoll, SIUE chief of police,.

For more information, call 618-650-3324 or to download SIUE-Safe, visit


Leadership, relationships, hospitality and service are among the themes of McKendree University’s 2015-2016 Chapel Series, which opens on Sept. 15.

The opening service will be held at the Hettenhausen Center at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 15. Guest speaker Jen Bricker will share her inspirational story of overcoming great odds. Born without legs and given up for adoption, she went on to have a successful career as an acrobat and aerialist — and later learned that the Olympic gold medal gymnast she idolized was also her biological sister.

Later presentations include:

▪  Sunday, Oct. 4, 10 a.m.: Rev. Dr. Miley Palmer, a McKendree alumnus, visiting pastor at First United Methodist Church in Decatur, Ill., and staff member at the First Presbyterian Church of Decatur, will talk about relationships at the Homecoming and Alumni Reunion Weekend chapel service.

▪  Friday, Dec. 11, noon: Hospitality is the theme of the holiday season’s Lessons and Carols Service with Danielle Harrison, a teacher, writer and member of the theology faculty at St. Louis University High School.

▪  Thursday, Jan. 21, 2015, 4 p.m.: Rev. Ranadore Foggs, director of public safety at McKendree, pastor of the New Horizon Community Church in East St. Louis, Ill., and a former Illinois State Police captain, will speak at the annual Christian Unity and Martin Luther King Service.

▪  Wednesday, April 6, 5 p.m.: A Jewish Seder Meal, a ritual feast that marks the beginning of Passover, will be served in the Circuit Riders room. The Seder involves a retelling of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.

▪  Wednesday, April 27, noon: David Ottinger, professor of art, will reflect on his 38-year McKendree teaching career as he prepares to retire in 2016.


The Southwestern Illinois College Kids’ Club has earned the Gold Circle of Quality designation from ExceleRate Illinois, the state’s new quality rating and improvement system for early learning and development providers.

“We are very proud to have been awarded the highest rating,” said Kids’ Club Director Suzette Hechst. “Our goal is to nurture and develop the whole child while providing hands- and minds-on play experiences in a safe environment. Earning the Gold Circle of Quality means we are exceeding expectations in our curriculum, programming and assessments.”

The Gold Circle of Quality recognizes programs, which have demonstrated quality on standards validated by an independent assessor. Gold Circle programs meet or exceed specific quality benchmarks on learning environment, instructional quality, and all program administrative standards; group size and staff/child ratios; staff qualifications; and professional development.

Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at or 618-239-2626. Follow him on Twitter: @scottwuerzBND.