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October 23, 2008
By Alix Cirac
The Associated Students of the University of Nevada (ASUN) and community organizations joined together on Wednesday to raise awareness about personal safety during the “Guarded by the Pack” safety rally. ASUN President Eli Reilly said that this is the time for the campus community to join together and remind everyone that safety comes first.
Karena Carpenter, a 21-year-old civil engineering major said she appreciated the fact that campus was having the rally. “It’s really cool,” she said.
“Raising awareness about the different things we can do to keep ourselves safe is the most important thing.” Tables lined the Knowledge Center lawn and were cluttered with informational brochures, pamphlets and free gear like safety whistles and “Guarded by the Pack” wristbands. There were games to play such as Safety Plinko, Safety Tic-Tac-Toe and a beanbag toss that featured safety themes such as how to avoid dating violence, sexual harassment and stalking. In front of the tables, safety statistics printed on paper were taped to the ground in a spiral pattern and used for a cakewalk. Alphie, the Wolf Pack mascot, attended as well. The University of Nevada Police Department displayed the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) suit which is used for optional simulations during RAD training programs. According to police officer John Martinez, 90-95 percent of females enrolled in the training use the opportunity to test their new-found defense skills on the police officers dressed in the RAD suit.
Alysha Carpenter, from the family-owned Scotland Yard Spy Shop sat in front of a table full of colorful weapons. She helped students learn about all of the self-defense items that are legal to carry in Nevada, including tasers, pepper spray, keychain-alarms and keychain-protection devices.
“When we were invited here, we jumped at the chance,” Carpenter said. “We are always happy to help people learn how to stay safe. Why not be protected?” Lauren Denison, from the Bring Bri Justice Foundation noted that having a safety rally on campus was important. “It’s one of the best things,” Denison said. “There are a lot of new, young people here this semester, and it’s their first time away from home.
We’re just here to spread the word to be safe and diligent about safety. “You don’t have to come from a place of fear, but just be aware.” This is one of other safety rallies planned this year, said Sally Morgan, director of Student Conduct. Organizers were able to learn a lot and they received positive feedback about the format. Future rallies will feature similar organizations and are also planned to include a safety pledge that students, faculty and community members can sign to show their dedication to keeping themselves and others safe.
Campus Escort, a free service provided by ASUN, will soon be changing hours from 7 p.m. to starting at 5 p.m. with service until 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday and until 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. They are scheduled to switch Nov. 2 with Daylight Savings Time, but may start sooner depending on how early it starts to get dark, said director Monica Thompson.
For more information, students, faculty and staff may contact the attending University organizations: Police Services (775) 784-4013, ASUN Flipside (775) 784-6589, Personal Safety and Sexual Assault Prevention (775) 784-6828, Campus Escort Service (775) 784-6341, Student Life Services (775) 784-1471 and the Counseling Services office (775) 784-4648. Community organizations included: Scotland Yard Spy Shop (775) 323-3232, Nevada Urban Indians (775) 788-7600, Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence (775) 355-2220, Join Together Northern Nevada (775) 324-7557, and the Bring Bri Justice Foundation (775) 329-7788.