Tag Archives: Safety

A Need for More Emergency Phones

If you have ever been on Radford University’s campus for any lengthy amount of time then you have probably seen the emergency telephones with the blue lights scattered around campus. These phones are there for any student to use if they are in need of police assistance or if they feel unsafe walking around campus. These phones are there to help people whenever they need it. However, there are relatively few around campus and given that the size of Radford’s campus is not insignificant, we could use more of them.

emergency phone
“Adding more of the emergency phones could help make people feel safer and even work as a deterrent for anyone planning to assault someone.” Photo from: http://www.luc.edu/media/lucedu/campussafety/images/bluelighttall-420×420.JPG

While Radford University’s campus is on the smaller size for a college campus, it can still take a fair bit of time to traverse and there are many places around campus where emergency phones are not nearby/easily accessible. Adding more of the emergency phones could help make people feel safer and even work as a deterrent for anyone planning to assault someone. The phones provide a large enough light source so it is easier to see (and therefore makes it harder to sneak up on someone). Also, if a phone is nearby then a potential victim has a better chance of contacting the police and getting help. The more difficult it is for a potential perpetrator to attack someone, the less likely they are to attempt it.

One of Radford University’s top priorities should be the safety of their students and the university should always be trying to find better ways to improve that safety. While an increase in emergency phones might not completely stop all assaults from happening, it could certainly result in a lower risk of assault or sexual assault. Students are given a lot of freedom while they are away at college. Part of that freedom is being able to go wherever they want whenever they want, and that comes with a lot of inherent risk, especially for people who are out alone.

Campus Safety Walk Sheds Light on Radford’s Darkest Places

On Wednesday, October 26th, the members of the Radford community, including the Student Government Association, Radford City and University police departments, university administrators, along with other students came together for the university’s bi-annual Campus Safety Walk. This event, taking place once each semester for the past four years, allows for these groups to meet together and identify safety concerns on campus and in the surrounding communities. Through their collaboration, this group identifies areas with improper lighting, emergency phones, and sidewalks that need updating in order to ensure that students are comfortable walking after sundown.

While it seems like a small effort, the impact of this event can be seen throughout the community. Over the last four years,

“Through their collaboration, this group identifies areas with improper lighting, emergency phones, and sidewalks that need updating.”

Radford has seen an increase in the amount of safety measures taken, such as brighter, more numerous street lamps and the installation of new emergency phones on campus. Many of these improvements can be attributed to the Walk, which allows for direct communication between students and administrators and helps them find the greatest areas for concern.

This year, the team was able to identify several areas that needed to be addressed, however, the total number of unsafe areas has decreased because of the year-to-year improvements that are being made.

All in all, these walks are a great time for people to come together for the greater good of our community; the more frequent interactions students and leaders can have with one another, the safer Radford University and our city will be.

Let’s kick sexual assault in the face

Calling all heroes: it’s time to stop sexual harassment right in its vile tracks. I’m not talking to Batman here, guys. It’s up to all of us to prevent campus attacks. That’s the message the White House’s new project is trying to get across. The program is called, “It’s On Us,” and its goal is to stop sexual assault, primarily on college campuses.

Although the campaign is less than a month old, it has an already established website full of very informative content. When entering itsonus.org, you’re given the freedom to either scroll and view the material or use the top menu, which includes: Take the Pledge, Watch the Videos, Get the Tools, Meet the Partners, and Donate.

Take the pledge! Graphic from Kezi
Take the pledge! Graphic from Kezi

When choosing to scroll down, we’re met with the pledge. The pledge asks visitors of the website to pay attention to their surroundings to prevent incidents of sexual assault. Not only can you take the pledge to join the cause, but there’s an option to show your support through advertising. To do this, simply take the pledge by filling out some optional information about yourself (kind of like filling out a petition) and transform your profile picture on Facebook or Twitter into an “It’s On Us,” badge.

Playing the advertisement for the cause in the video section of the website will give you a bit more insight. The video is about thirty seconds long and includes celebrity endorsements from actors like Joel McHale and others. At the end, Obama makes his appearance. Not only is the Hollywood crowd promoting this, but there are dozens of partners as well such as iHeart Media, MTV, tumblr, etc.

The website also provides safety tips under the “Tools” section. These also include additional resources: notalone.gov and the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-HOPE). These tools are meant to help any victims of sexual assault crimes. You can also use “#ItsOnUs” to participate in the conversation on twitter.

While staying vigilant to help others, don’t forget that there are many resources to keep us heroes safe on campus too. The RU police department is available 24 hours a day, so don’t be afraid to ask for their help. If you’re feeling unsafe use the police escort service and have a cop walk you to your car (540-831-5500). If your cell phone is out of juice, don’t worry. There are blue emergency telephones located in many outdoor locations around the campus.

A short temper for longboarders

Like most students who live on or around campus, I walk to each of my classes. However, there’s another breed of people who don’t — the longboarders and skateboarders. I don’t know about you, but nothing bothers me more when a boarder comes riding up behind me and comes a little too close to either hitting me or running over my feet.

Continue reading A short temper for longboarders

Methods of birth control: Effectiveness and side-effects

Most sexually active women need an effective form of birth control if they want to plan when they have children.

Don’t be ashamed of that — more than 89 percent of sexually active women are using contraceptives in the United States alone. It’s a smart and effective method of protecting and planning for your future if you decide to have sex. Continue reading Methods of birth control: Effectiveness and side-effects

Overdoing athletics may cause lifelong injuries

As spring slowly arrives at Radford University, many students will be taking part in athletic activities, but sometimes the cost is much greater than a new pair of running shoes.

Athletes push themselves to the limit for their coaches and their fans. Photo by Carina Garcia.

Young baseball or softball pitchers often strain their arms and shoulders when pitching. According to Science Daily, “In most children up to age 16, bones, muscles and connective tissues are not fully developed, so it should come as no surprise that the pitching motion can lead to injury if it is performed too frequently.” Parents should encourage their kids not to overdo it, even if they’re good at the sport. Continue reading Overdoing athletics may cause lifelong injuries

Staying safe on college campuses

Emergency phone located in the Governors Quad. Photo by Steve Furtado.

Early morning, Sept. 15, while most of us were either partying or sleeping, one of our own was attacked. It occurred around 3:38 a.m. near Dalton hall. The suspect — a young, average built white man with brown hair, sideburns and a hook shaped forearm tattoo — walked up to an anonymous female Highlander. Striking up conversation, he asked for a cigarette. Shortly after, he “solicited a sexual act” from her, and responded with anger upon her refusal, hitting her before running off into the night. Continue reading Staying safe on college campuses

The dangers of distracted driving

When you’re in your living room watching TV while you’re texting, do you ever get distracted from what you’re watching? I know I do. I get so consumed in what I’m thinking about texting that I become completely oblivious to what is going on around me. Don’t you think the same thing happens when you’re trying to text and drive? Many say yes, but others disagree. The truth is that it is not a safe activity. Continue reading The dangers of distracted driving

Zombies, candy and costumed people run rampant on campus

Halloween is all about trick-or-treating, dressing up as your favorite character, eating candy, scaring people or getting spooked and having fun. Events are happening all over campus in celebration of Halloween.

Trinkle Hall and RU After Dark are sponsoring two events on Oct. 28. The first is a Zombie Walk, which is a costume parade where participants dress up as zombies and lurch around campus. The event will start at 7:15 p.m. Makeup will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Muse Banquet Hall. The second event is a Zombie Prom, which starts at 8 p.m. in Muse Banquet Hall and goes until midnight. There will be food provided by RU Catering Services, face painting, costumes, a DJ and a photo booth.

Zombie Prom. Photo by Austin Tuley.

Another Halloween event is RU Otaku-don’s Octoberfest from Oct. 29-30. The event will be held in the Bonnie on the second floor starting at 7 p.m. and concluding at 1 a.m. The club rented out the whole floor for this event. There will be a room for playing horror video games, another room for Japanese horror movies and there will be food in the main lobby. The food will be provided by RU Catering Services. There will also be music for people to enjoy when they aren’t watching a movie or playing a video game.

President of Otaku-don Ryan Arias said that he hopes to provide students with a fun and safe harvest festival they can share with friends in an entertaining atmosphere. He mentioned the spooky events like horror movies and scary video games. Costumes are also welcome, but need to be campus appropriate. Prizes such as an iPod charger, glow sticks and headphones will be given for killing the most monsters in a game, not screaming at a movie and best costume awards.

The night before Halloween, the Residence Hall Association will sponsor RU Scared. The program was created to give children in the Radford community a chance to come trick-or-treating on campus. On Moffett quad, there will be tables set up where different organizations that will be passing out candy. The residential halls on campus are able to participate as well, and they will have volunteers passing out candy to the children, similar to the typical house-to-house Halloween collection. All of the buildings can participate as long as there are enough volunteers, otherwise participants will be moved into the different quads.

RU Scared. Photo by Austin Tuley.

“The event is very successful; the children walk away with so much candy and treats, while the Radford students are able to give back to the community,” said RHA Programming Coordinator Gabrielle Williams. “It’s always a big turnout.”

Generally 40-60 children come to the event. RU Scared is a way to give back to the community and give children the opportunity to come to campus and go trick-or-treating.

On Halloween, the Bowling Club is hosting Spook-n-Bowl. The event will be in the Bonnie Game Room from 7-10 p.m. It will cost $4 to play three games with rental shoes included. The club is expecting about 30-40 people.

“The event is to support the bowling club and also just to create an event so students can have fun and relax,” said Bowling Club President Amanda Garland.

Halloween decorations will be set up and black lights, laser lights and a fog machine will be used. There will also be candy for students to have while bowling. Prizes will be given out for the best costume. Prizes will be gift cards to Wal-Mart or little prizes from the store.

From our perspective: Be safe this Halloween

Be safe on Halloween. Graphic by Marie Stovall.

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.