Campus Safety Program looks to enlighten students
Josh Falcone – News Editor
Many of the university’s groups joined together in the Academic Quad last Tuesday to promote campus safety.
The event saw the Drug and Alcohol Resource Center, the Wellness Center, Multicultural Center, University Police Department, the Safety, Sexual and Gender Equality Center, along with Counseling Services looking to inform the community on how to stay safe.
The Drug and Alcohol Resource Center was offering students the chance to sign up for the safe R.I.D.E.S. program, where students can get a Metro Card assigned to their student I.D. and put money on the card to use for taxi service.
Drug and Alcohol Resource Center Graduate Intern Ashton Chandler said the program allows students to get a ride from a Metro Taxi with their card no matter the reason.
The university police were offering information about the Law Enforcement and Resident Network (L.E.A.R.N.), the Uniform Crime Report, a campus safety map, and information on the Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) system program.
Officer Abbey Pantani said the R.A.D. course is a women’s only self-defense course.
“Ninety percent of what we teach is the education part of how not to put yourself in dangerous situations where you potentially may become a victim of sexual assault,” Officer Pantani said. “After that we teach practical self-defense moves that anybody can learn. You don’t have to have any martial art experience. You don’t have to be super athletic. It doesn’t matter who you are, this program it is an advantage for anyone who wants to take it.”
While it is currently only open to women, Officer Pantani said the department is looking to expand it to men.
“Right now,” she said, “We are only certified to teach women but we are looking to get certified to teach men as well.”
Officer Pantani said at the end of the course there is a simulation with both the instructor and students wearing special protective suit, and in a controlled environment, the students are put through two simulations of facing an attacker. She went on to say that the students are encouraged to practice the moves that they have learned in the course. The simulations are videotaped and the students get to watch the video at the end of the class.
“It is very empowering for our women who take the course,” Pantani said.
Graduate Intern at the Sexuality and Gender Equality (S.A.G.E.) Center Lauren Todd, who was at the Campus Safety Program on behalf of the center, said she was there to promote Safety Awareness Month and to let students know that the S.A.G.E. Center is in a new location, room 238 in the Adanti Student Center.
“The S.A.G.E. Center is a safe haven for the LGBTQIA community and allies for it,” Todd said. “So I really want to put it out there that if anyone wants to just talk, if anything happened that they need to talk about, to definitely come by. It’s a safe place.”
Todd said that on Oct. 8, the S.A.G.E. Center will be celebrating National Coming Out Day.
“We are going to be having pizza, wings, a DJ, and a student coming out panel.”
On behalf of Counseling Services Programming and Outreach Graduate Intern Jon Ruiz was promoting mental health.
“I’m just telling students a little bit about what resources we have on campus and letting them know that Counseling Services is a free and confidential resource for them,” Ruiz said.
Counseling Services, Ruiz said, offers students a refuge to talk.
“We have individual and group counseling,” he said, “and I think that is really important for students to know. That where they can go in times of stress or in times of grieving, and things like that.”