For over twenty years campus safety has come to depend on emergency call boxes. Call boxes themselves date back even farther. Almost since the popularization of the telephone in the 1880s, call boxes have been used to report emergencies to the police. Early call boxes, and police boxes, were located on busy city streets so citizens could communicate effectively with the police. These boxes became less prevalent after the 911 system was first developed and organized. But, starting in the 1970s, many colleges began installing emergency call boxes on campuses.
The ubiquity of call-boxes on college campuses offer a feeling of safety. When first installing call boxes, many college administrators saw call boxes as a way to help women walking alone at night. Women’s activist groups saw these call boxes as a way to provide safety in dorms, in heavy traffic and unpopulated areas.
Since the first installation of call boxes, communication has come a long way. Even with the advent of cell phones and mobile devices, call boxes still serve a vital role in campus safety. They provide visibility and reliability. Emergency responders are able to pinpoint exactly where the call comes from, and respond accordingly. New campuses are continuing to add more call boxes today. Emergency call boxes are also being updated and upgraded to include new technological advancements.