Stay Safe WKU shares tips and tricks with students

Senior Avery Nordgren of WKU Health Education and Promotion teaches the alcohol intake of different drinks to Freshman Simon Confederat by quizzing Confederat on which beverages have the highest percentage of alcohol. Confederat played water pong to win prizes. “(Stay safe WKU) changed my view with how to look at drinks… mixing things together gives you a higher alcohol intake than by itself,” Confedrat said.

Abbey Nutter

A variety of campus organizations gathered on the grass of Centennial Mall Monday afternoon where they all shared safety tips with WKU students.

Students who visited the Stay Safe WKU event that was hosted under the shade of Centennial Mall’s cherry trees received a checklist which required them to visit each of the organizations whose tables surrounded the space: Campus Recreation & Wellness, The Counseling Center, House & Residence Life, Information and Technology Services, Parking & Transportation, the WKU Police Department, Office of Student Conduct and Study Abroad. After visiting each of these tables, students turned in the slip of paper to be entered into a raffle. 

Information and Technology Services promoted cyber security through a colorful, interactive fish-shaped game with a website link on the back. Jordan Cole, a representative of ITS explained and provided examples of common phishing scams.

“Often times you get messages that state things like ‘you can make $700 a week working for an hour, just respond to this email and give me your name, date of birth and social security number,” Cole said. “Anytime you get those, we always encourage that they be deleted and to report them to the phish account.”

ITS has several other tips posted online for security such as connecting to different wireless networks, make sure that devices have passwords on them that are not easily guessed . 

Next to the ITS tent stood the Counseling Center’s table, where outreach coordinator Betsy Pierce stood educating students about staying safe in relationships and about mental health.

The most important tip on the Counseling Center’s “Top Ten” board, according to Pierce, was that stress is not the same as anxiety.

“Everybody has stress, not everybody has anxiety,” Pierce explained. “Both are affected by life situations and both can be managed or lessened.”

The Office of Student Conduct talked to students about how to “Adjust your bubble”, online personal safety, privacy settings, how to use Lyft and Uber programs safely and using dating apps in a safe matter. 

Melanie Evans’s tips for safe dating app use included meeting in public and to let someone know where the meeting will take place. Evans’s tips for using Lyft and Uber safely included to stay inside until the vehicle arrives. 

“Before approaching the vehicle, verify the make, model and license plate number,” Evans advised. “Also ask your driver for their name and make sure the picture matches.”

Austin Preston, a sophomore broadcasting major, was on his way to grab food when he saw the event and decided to check it out

Preston said the most interesting thing he encountered while making his way through the booths were the social media safety and the WellU stations. 

“I’ve heard a lot of crazy statistics,” Preston said. “Like from WellU, that 95% of violent crimes involve alcohol on campus.”

Health Education and Promotion is located in Health Services and provides free feminine products and free contraception to students. At Stay Safe WKU, representatives such as graduate assistant Chantal Izaguirre, provided alcohol education to students through games like “Water Pong,” which Izaguirre explained.

“We have solo cups filled with water,” Izaguirre said. “After a student gets the ball in the cup, they’re asked a trivia question regarding alcohol education and get a prize.”

The WKUPD focused on educating students about the emergency phones scattered throughout WKU’s campus. Their tent featured a huge campus map, on which they asked students to pinpoint locations that they knew where emergency phones were, according to Officer Ryan Petty.

“Some locations that students might not realize there were “e-phones” were every level in every parking structure, on South Campus,” Petty explained.

Officer Tim Gray was also at Stay Safe WKU in a self defense suit so students could practice self defense techniques.

News reporter Abbey Nutter can be reached at 270-745-6011 and abbigail.[email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @abbeynutter.