Sales tax referendum could be passed after all

By Jennifer Wheeler

Between the Halloween shooting threat and sexual assaults that occurred at the University this year, some students may question the safety at the University.

However, University Housing, the Women’s Program and University Police Department have taken several steps to teach individuals how to prevent and react toward threatening situations. Such programs include Whistle Stop and the Rape Aggression Defense system.

“We teach people how to maximize your options when you’re in a situation out of your control,” said Patricia Morey, assistant dean of students and director of women’s programs.

Morey said University Housing works with Women’s Program to implement the program Whistle Stop. The program distributes self-defense whistles to all newly enrolled female and male students who request them. She said students are told to sound the whistle when they feel uncomfortable and want to attract attention to a situation.

Whistle Stop is helpful on two levels in “making students more conscious of their safety and what resources are available to them,” said Morey.

Despite the usefulness of the whistle, Morey said a common flaw with the program is that students do not always have their whistle available when the student needs it. She said she encourages students to place their whistle on their keys and carry their keys in their hand when walking.

However, Morey said it was rare to hear “false whistle,” or blowing a whistle when there is no emergency. Deterrents of blowing the whistle when not in danger include writing a paper and speaking with individuals involved in the Whistle Stop program.

“Depending on the situation you may not be able to use the whistle,” said Katie Castree, junior in AHS. “I know if you did use it though, it would draw attention and they are at least going to look or someone may be able to help you.”

Morey also encourages students to enroll in is the Rape Aggression Defense system.

The program, which is the only self defense program ever endorsed by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrator, teaches females how to prevent themselves from being attacked.

“Fighting is 10 percent,” said Officer Tony Ortiz, crime prevention coordinator. “Knowledge is 90 percent.”

Ortiz said the program goes beyond their hands on technique of how to react when attacked. He said the program teaches women how to prevent threatening situations in all aspects of life. This includes safety tips when traveling, how to protect your house, how to become more aware of your environment and dating safety suggestions.

The program is only offered to women for $15 at the University said Ortiz but programs are available for men as well as younger children.

Although there are multiple crime preventative programs offered to students, Morey said she is concerned that some students to not think about their safety enough.

“Ironically, students think less about safety than the staff does at times,” Morey said. “But I guess it’s good that students feel safe.”