Safety comes first

Aug 242005
Authors: Elena Ulyanova

Similar to the saying "two heads are better than one," two bodies are safer than one when walking around campus at night.

There are several options provided by CSU to stay safe on campus and avoid the possibility of dangerous situations.

Safewalk is an on-campus service that can assist students with this matter. Campus Service Officers (CSO's) can be contacted through the CSU Police Department and are available every night for anyone who calls for accompaniment on the walk home.

Corporal Yvonne Paez said in past years when cell phone usage was not as common, the Safewalk service was used more often. Although she thinks that having a cell phone is useful in certain situations, it is not always dependable.

"Why depend on a phone that has a possibility of not functioning when you can have a person right next to you?" Paez said. "What if somebody bumps your cell phone out of your hand and that's what you were banking on?"

For those who do not have cell phones or happen to not have one present when terror strikes, there are 24 call boxes located across campus. The call boxes connect to CSUPD for an emergency or simply to contact Safewalk. In the mid 1980's the first three original call boxes were placed on campus and CSU began to add more in the early 1990's.

Corporal David Hurley of CSUPD said on average there are four to six calls from the call boxes each day. Some of these calls however are misdials or children playing with the telephones. Every couple weeks there are legitimate emergency calls for assistance.

To prevent dangerous incidents, Corporal Paez has several suggestions.

"I would say that you definitely are safe but safety is relative. We place ourselves in situations of less safety by either pulling an all nighter where we are walking zombies and we don't know whether we are awake or asleep. If you are sick or tired or under the influence of alcohol you are putting yourself in that situation," Paez said.

Paez also recommended walking in groups of two or more or using Safewalk.

"I've only walked around at night once, but I was with my friend and people were walking around. If there weren't people walking around and I was by myself, I wouldn't feel that safe," said Brittany Rogers, sophomore human development and family studies major.

If a situation did arise Paez suggested scaring off the opponent by being loud and assertive and getting away as fast as possible. The attacker is depending on overpowering the victim and that too much attention will not be drawn to them. If the victim is getting away or screaming loudly, the attacker is more likely to back away.

"Freezing is not good. I don't suggest you try to fight this person if you can just get away. If you have to fight to get away then only fight to get away," Paez said.

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