May 25, 2020
Pictured is an eAlarm on a keychain. The device is set off by pulling off the black top. A 120 decibel alarm then emits. (Jessica Johnson/The Collegian)

Blue eAlarms given out at Fresno State in hopes to create a safer campus

In the name of safety, Fresno State recently unveiled a new Fresno Police Department satellite office near the campus and installed LED lights at Cedar and Shaw avenues.

And now, there’s something more tangible for students to use as an extra security measure: an eAlarm.

The safety device is about the size of a USB thumb drive, making it easy to put on a key ring or bag. When the black top is pulled off, the device emits a 120 decibel alarm sound.

“This is something that can allow [students] to draw attention if something is happening,” said the university’s director of housing, Erin Boele.

The hope is that students will use the device and also be more aware of their surroundings on and off campus.

Some 2,000 of the blue alarm devices were bought as a pilot program for residents in student housing. But after word got out about the devices, Boele said, students came into The Atrium in the Residence Hall, asking for one.

The devices were made free for students.

“I really want to help our students reduce feelings of a threat,” Boele said.

According to the the California-based brand BASU’s website, the battery on the alarm will last up to one year, and the device weighs less than an ounce. The device is $15.99 if purchased through the company’s website.

Boele plans to purchase more alarm devices for the university if she sees continued interest in them, she said. As of Friday last week, 100 devices were left, she said.

With or without an alarm, Boele encourages students to report suspicious behavior.

“We always encourage our students – if they see something, to say something – either to the police department, to me or anybody else,” Boele said.

Student Faith Porraz said she heard about the device through the Facebook group, Fresno State Book Trade and Advice.

Porraz said she wants to feel safe on campus. She said she also got a device for her mom, who is a student at Fresno State and has night classes.

Although she has felt safe on campus before, Porraz said the alarm is a good thing to have if she has to stay late on campus.

“I think it was pretty cool that [the university] did this,” Porraz said.

The spelling for Faith Porraz has been corrected.

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