Safety not on student radar

JULIAN WYLLIE | | Opinion Editor

President James Danko voiced his concerns on sexual assault in last week’s State of the University address. His message was simple. 

Students must protect each other.

“We will do everything we can to keep you safe,” he said in a email following the address, “but it is ultimately up to you, as independent young adults, to make the right decisions for yourselves and those around you.”

I agree with his suggestion. However, there’s more information incoming freshmen and returning students should know.

For starters, don’t go to parties alone. 

If you go out as a group, return home as a group. Maintaining communication with friends is the most effective way to make sure everyone is behaving responsibly. 

Also, don’t wander around campus late at night without a soul in sight and your nose buried in your phone. Be aware of your surroundings. Nothing should be taken for granted. Ignore this, and your well-being may be at risk.

Aside from my suggestions, the Butler University Police Department offers a variety of programs and tips. 

The tools are in place. People simply need to be made aware of them.  

Butler’s timely warnings, Dawg Alert, and daily crime log information is all located on the BUPD website. Keep updated with its news.

Dawg Ride is a service that offers on-demand transportation in the evenings at specific stops around campus. There is a phone number and an application for downloading. If the Dawg Ride happens to be unavailable for any reason, call BUPD and request an officer to send an escort. The escort’s number is located on the back of your Butler identification card along with a hotline for sexual assault victims and general emergencies. 

With that said, BUPD urges students to report all suspicious activities, persons and situations. Don’t hesitate and think that someone else saw what you saw. Trust your instincts and know that it is the police’s job to answer your calls. You’re not bothering them—you are helping. 

Campus police also recommends you keep your doors locked and remember to carry your keys. This is a special concern for those living in the freshman dorms, Ross and Schwitzer Hall. I remember many laptops and cellphones being stolen from unlocked rooms during my freshman year. It is much simpler to protect your valuables as opposed to buying them over and over again.  

Finally, look over Butler’s policies on alcohol, drug use and sexual misconduct found in this year’s student handbook. I know it is annoying to have to read all of it, but, in the future, you will be glad you did.

Aside from all the tips and tricks listed above, the overall concept of safety is promoted through the Community of C.A.R.E. The word encourages students to show concern, assume responsibility, react to changes and evaluate situations. 

As a result, the administration has put more emphasis on Welcome Week programming this fall to advertise student awareness.

Red Cup Culture, an educational seminar that reiterates the university’s stance on alcohol consumption, will return. In addition to this, a new program called Sex Signals has been added to the list of Welcome Week programs. Resident assistants will also have to address student safety during the mandatory unit meetings.  

All of these changes prove this: It is everyone’s duty to look out for themselves and others. 

Danko’s statement needs to be heard again.

“We can’t be in every building or housing complex at all times—Students must protect each other.”

If everyone does his or her part, Butler could easily become the safest campus in the nation.