Public Safety Day proven an annual success

What began as a Speech Communication project has become tradition for the University within the last four to five years. Public Safety Day, held annually at the start of the semester, took place Sept. 7 on the Quad from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event works to communicate safety messages, such as pedestrian safety, personal safety, sexual assault awareness and bike safety.

“What I hope to get across to (students) is all of the things that (they) probably know about personal safety, but (they) don’t always think about,” said University Police Captain Skip Frost.

Police officers from the University, Champaign and Urbana set up a table on the Quad filled with brochures and other giveaways that promote campus safety.

Students were able to answer questions about safety, and if they were correct, they were given a free T-shirt or other small item.

It was Urbana Police Lt. Robert Fitzgerald’s first time participating in the event and said that he believes it is a very important event to hold.

“It’s a great idea to teach them and make sure they think about what they’re doing,” said Fitzgerald. “That’s why we ask them the questions, so that they think about it and come up with the answers

(themselves).”

Alex Marzano, sophomore in LAS, said he understands the need for the event.

“I know there are a lot of accidents around here and not a lot of people are getting the information,” he said. “So if they have to give away a free T-shirt to do that, then I think it’s a really good idea.”

Frost added that, beyond wanting students to be aware and safe, he also wants to be able to have conversations with the people he

serves.

Usually, he said, there are only two times when you meet a police officer: when you are a victim or when you are an offender.

“Neither one of those is a good time to get to know somebody,” he said. “This is a good time to actually realize that, as police officers, there’s a voice and a brain behind the uniform.”