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Bring A Buddy program has new smartphone application


STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- A campus safety program has led to the development of a smartphone application at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.

Jenna Furger is the Student Government’s Public Relations Director. She says the Bring A Buddy safety campaign has been around a while, but now they are adding technology thanks to UW Stevens Point Computer Sciences student Jaime Carbo. Carbo designed the smartphone application to allow users to privately use Facebook contacts to create a buddy circle, and keep track of where they are until everyone is home safely.

Furger says it’s very easy to use for Iphone or Android devices.  “So, when you have your circle created, you guys can go out and about wherever you’d like to go, and then when say, half of your group gets separated, all of their pictures will show up on a map. You click (on) their face and it will show you exactly where they are.”

Furger says everyone knows at a glance where their friends are without publicly posting anything on social media sites.  “The whole time you guys are out and about, all of the names will appear in red, so then once you get home, you have the ability to say ‘I made it home safely.’ Your name will then turn green, so you’ll know when all of your friends get home safely.

The app also has a feature that activates after the bars close. A screen will pop up on your phone, and you have to accept or deny a call for a cab making sure users have a safe ride home.

The application also uses Google maps, and it can be used anywhere in the country, not just around Stevens Point.

Several individuals and businesses have supported the Bring A Buddy campaign including local establishments, The Portage County Tavern League, Courtesy Cab, Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse prevention groups, and Point Beer. The Bring A Buddy campaign has also gained the support of Joan and Daren Duffy of Madison, whose son Eric died March 3rd, 2012 in Stevens Point of accidental drowning.