Month used to raise safety awareness

National Campus Safety Awareness Month is underway, and the Trinity University Police Department (TUPD) is taking full advantage of it to make sure that students are fully capable of minimizing their risk.

The month is a national event put on by the Clery Center for Safety on Campus. According to the organization’s website, the awareness month began in 2008 to help “college and university communities to create safer campuses.”

“We go out there every week, especially near the first-year areas, and whoever else wants to come out there,” said Paul Morales, crime prevention and community resource team leader for TUPD. “We’ll bring our popcorn machine and brochures and stuff that we’re able to give the students as prizes.”

The TUPD events and the focus of the month is for the betterment of the entire student body, but Morales admitted there is a particular focus on first years.

“Especially the first-year students, they don’t have any idea of college life yet,” Morales said. “They’re probably leaving mom and dad for the first time.”

Morales noted that despite the broad topics addressed during the month, it is actually quite straightforward and simple for individual students to increase their specific safety on campus.

“It all begins with self-awareness,” Morales said. “Everything you need to know about staying safe on campus, personal safety, it’s broad, it’s huge, it all begins with yourself and how to stay safe on campus.”

Trinity’s campus is  generally perceived as safe. Junior Kevin Grube said dedicating the entire month to being aware about safety is too much based on the lack of crime in and around campus.

“Not a whole month,” Grube said. “Maybe a week or two. There is a need for increased awareness, but campus is generally safe.”

Morales noted that theft and other such crimes are at risk to happen anywhere, and that the biggest risks specific to Trinity students are their own occasionally excessive drinking habits.

“The biggest danger to Trinity students is themselves when they drink too much alcohol. I’ve seen quite a few very ill kids,” Morales said.

Morales noted that TUPD is interested not just in fulfilling their obligations to make campus safe, but also to do general good in the Trinity community. Putting on programs like Safety Awareness Month is one such way they stay involved.

“We are here for the students and the community. We do a lot for the community,  and so we want to go out there and engage,” Morales said.

Students interested in learning more can meet with TUPD on Sept. 16 at 11 p.m. in the Coates University Center. There will be “cop corn” and safety information.

Campus Safety Awareness Month is set to commence on Sept. 29, with a campus-wide grand finale event.