Take Back the Night video - a lesson in awareness

3/13/2009 - By: Skyler Dillon

Although safety is always an important consideration for students, it is rarely the first thing on their minds as they travel through the University of Nevada, Reno campus. Sometimes it is easy for students to become preoccupied by classes, friends and work.

To help protect the campus community, University Police Services and the Nevada women’s athletics membership group, Pack Paws, have produced Take Back the Night, a 20-minute video on personal safety. The video features a number of safety tips from University students and faculty. Trisha Gibbons, a member of the Wolf Pack women’s soccer team and project participant, was excited at the opportunity to appear on the video.

“It’s an important message,” she said. “It’s something everyone needs to hear.”

The video is airing on Sierra Nevada Community Access Television (SNCAT), and is also available on the Police Services website. Gibbons says the tips are easy to follow.

“Some of the things we can do are so simple,” said the fifth-year, double major in nutritional sciences and psychology. “It can be as easy as not wearing a hood or not talking on your cell phone.”

The video stresses the importance of being aware of your surroundings around campus. To make that an easier task, the Associated Students of the University of Nevada Senate sponsored a Safety Walk this winter. Police Services Commander Edward Rinne and Jerry Marczynski, the University’s associate vice president for Student Life Services, along with Facilities Services personnel, Joe Crowley Student Union staff and several ASUN senators patrolled the campus searching for potential safety hazards and planning improvements to eliminate them.

As a result of the walk, the University will be fixing a portion of damaged sidewalk in the University Quad as well as broken light bulbs in the vicinity. According to Rinne, the addition of another light behind Cain Hall and another emergency Blue Light phone behind the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center are under discussion.

The improvements will clearly enhance campus safety, but Gibbons says nothing is more important than being aware of your surroundings and taking responsibility for your own safety.

“I think a lot of people, especially because the Denison case (last year) was such a big shock for the campus, are paying more attention to safety these days,” she said. “But we women especially need to be more aware and take precautions.”

One of those precautions is watching Take Back the Night, which Gibbons says is not just useful to students.

“Play it for your friends, for your family, for everyone,” she advised. “I strongly recommend it. You never know when you’ll need the tips you get from it.”

For more information on campus safety, visit the Police Services website.


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