Western Courier

Campus Confidential

Traci Tyler

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Oh, Western. It’s hard to believe we’re back, ready for another year of studies and parties, good times with good friends, and of course, my favorite subject, the inevitable tangle of sex.

However, I’m going to take a break from my tasteful raunchiness for today and talk about something serious: safety. I am sure you were expecting at least one article dealing with this subject, but before you roll your eyes and move on, saying that it can’t and won’t happen to you, I ask you to consider that statistics are more than just numbers on a page-they are real people.

With that in mind, I want to offer a few pieces of friendly advice I’ve picked up over the years in order to make sure that this school year remains a great one for each of you.

First things first, always be on your guard when it comes to drinking. I know that many of you will be up and down Adams Street these first few weeks like men in and out of the Bunny Ranch, red plastic cups full of Keystone attached to your hand like an extension of your phalanges. I’m here to tell you that I don’t care how well you think you know that guy who is friends with your roommate’s brother, if you don’t see the drink get poured or made, don’t drink it. Even if you think you’re not the type of person anyone would want to slip a roofie to, just don’t.

The same rule of thumb applies to the bar scene. However, not only should you always watch your drink being made, you should never, ever leave it sitting unattended. I don’t care how silly you think you look while holding a drink and busting a move, as it were, or how paranoid you are about little particles floating through the air in the bathroom, never let it out of your sight. Even if all you are drinking is water.

That being said, you should never get so drunk that you have no idea what is going on, but if you are going to get ridiculous, make sure you have someone there to keep an eye on you. They don’t have to be glued to your side all night like you’re at an eighth grade dance or anything, but having a kind of “safety buddy” is a good way to make sure you leave the party under your own terms. And never walk home alone late at night, especially on the less-lit side streets.

Be sure to keep select numbers on speed dial: parents, friends, roommates, anyone you can call to help. It’s a good idea to put the number for OPS in your phone, and there’s also good old reliable 911 if you get to that point. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s not a bother, especially to someone who is there for that specific reason.

Basically, just be smart about your extracurricular activities. It’s an easy thing to do to keep yourself from becoming another in the sad amount of statistics.

Here’s to another great year. I can’t wait to see what it brings!

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Campus Confidential