Monday, January 25, 2021

Sidekick for safety

Whether it’s the posters in the hallways, advice from RAs or just that call from Mom reminding her baby to travel in groups, student safety is obviously a frequently discussed topic.

React Mobile is a new safety application that can be used to discreetly notify authorities, as well as a list of contacts, of potentially dangerous situations.

The application was created by Robb Monkman after an incident involving his roommate at Seattle University several years ago. According to a USA Today article, after robbers broke into his off-campus home, kidnapped and threatened to kill his roommate, Monkman had the desire to enhance safety for students.

Monkman became the co-founder and CEO of React Mobile when the device was developed in 2013. This application acts as a discreet way to notify authorities if the user is ever in a potentially dangerous situation or is in need of assistance. People can program the app to also notify a customized list of contacts at the same time.

The application can be linked by Bluetooth to a separate panic button that ,with just a push of a button, sends out one’s exact location to authorities and a customized contact list. According to the article, The React Mobile Sidekick costs $59.99 and is about 1.5 inches in size. The size of the device allows users to activate the device from inside their pockets leaving the assailant unaware.

The selection of attachments for the Sidekick can appeal to a variety of customers. According to the app’s website, “The React Mobile Sidekick comes with both an activity clip for runners and athletes, and carabiner clip that is perfect to attach onto key chains, backpacks and purses.”

As React Mobile reaches college campuses, it has yet to hit Plattsburgh State, but how would students on campus feel about React Mobile?

The peace of mind that the device could provide during potentially dangerous could have a huge effect on students attitude surrounding nightlife.

“I think there’s always level of fear or maybe just a heightened level of awareness when I’m walking home on the weekends,” PSUC sophomore Sabrina Santos said. “I always feel very safe on our campus.” She also said the police presence on campus makes her feel confident that she can get to wherever she is going safely.

“I’ve never felt like I wasn’t safe while I’m here in Plattsburgh,” sophomore Haley Treco said. “I love how safe this campus feels. It really puts my mind at ease.”

After hearing the description of React Mobile, the two students gave their reactions.

“Peace of mind for $60 — how could you think twice about something like that?” Treco said.

Santos, however, felt differently. “I just think that calling the police and actually talking to them would be my preferred plan if I was to be in a dangerous situation. Personally I wouldn’t wear it but for other people I could see it being a really good thing.”

Treco had only positive things to say.

“I love the idea. I think it is something so simple that could change so much. Think about how much of a difference something like this could make when you’re in a dangerous situation.”

Email Madison Winters at

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