If you’ve been following the news or listening to the buzz around campus, you know that people have been passing away around the area. Sophomore Sam Mason passed away after a night of drinking at a fraternity house on lightside. The store manager of Papa John’s died last Thursday morning after someone shot him in the head. In the past two weeks, four Radford residents died well before their time was up.
But Radford isn’t the only one. A little over a year ago, neighboring Virginia Tech lost one of their own as well. Morgan Harrington disappeared after attending a Metallica concert in Charlottesville, VA and was found dead three months later.
Around this time of year, the number of tragedies seem to be climbing significantly. But what makes these incidents even more tragic is that almost all of them could have been prevented. We don’t want any of these instances to be forgotten or grouped together to make them seem less significant. What we want is for people to treat these recent events like cautionary tales and learn from them.
When you’re going out this Halloween weekend, please do so with caution. Know your limits, and don’t test them. Bring or pour your own drinks and never let anybody else hold yours. If you set your cup down for any reason, make sure to get a new drink; even if the keg is almost tapped, it’s not worth the risk of someone drugging you.
Bad things happen to good people, and we understand that. You can’t always control what is going to happen to you, but you can control what environments you put yourself in and how you control your state of being. Use common sense when going to unfamiliar areas. Always travel in groups and never let one of your friends run off with a stranger. And when something feels off, listen to your gut and get yourself out of the situation, even if it means calling it an early night.
We would also like to add that not all girls have to dress like complete prostitutes. There are some semi-modest costumes that you can make sexy while still covering up. Covering up is another way to stay safe. If you are stumbling around, looking incoherent and showing yourself off, people will be more likely to take advantage of you. This goes for guys too; if you are incoherently drunk, people are more likely to take advantage of your state of mind.
We’re not telling you that you can’t go out and have a good time this Halloween. We’re just reminding you that there’s a clear line between being in control of a situation and putting yourself in danger. Be in control of your environment, and don’t put yourself in compromising positions. Go out and have a good time, but don’t drink to the point where alcohol will cloud your judgment of what’s right and what’s not. We don’t want to see any more tragedies in the news.