In conjunction with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the Trinity Police Department hosted its first ever Community and Wellness Fair during National Crime Victims Week. The event hosted over 30 local agencies and organizations on campus to promote their services and raise student awareness.
The event aimed to make students aware of various services around San Antonio, and to help form strong bonds with the community. To Becky Aguilar, a member of MADD, events such as these are crucial to getting students involved and conscious.
“This is one of our annual affairs that we do,” Aguilar said. “We want to make sure we go to different colleges and universities just to let the students know of other types of resources out there available to them.”
Often times, students may be unaware of such services in the community, especially if they have never needed to use them directly.
“Living at home you can rely on your parents often, but as a young adult we really want you to be aware of what’s out there,” Aguilar said. “If you do need any of these people or programs, just know they are out there for anyone who may need help.”
To Trinity police officer Paul Morales, the event served to increase awareness for various victims of crime, not limited to drunk driving.
“With it being National Crime Victims Week and April being Sexual Awareness Month, we are just trying to raise awareness whether it’s for sexual assault, elderly abuse, whatever the issue,” Morales said. “We just want the community, our students, to participate and know that these opportunities are available to them.”
While many students may not realize the potential impact of events such as these, Morales makes note how important it is for students to be aware of these crimes and the effects they have on the victims.
“A lot of students may walk by and think “˜Oh it’s not for me’, but victims of crime can be anyone, you may have a friend who may be a victim of crime, whether its sexual assault or a drunk driver, and it’s important to know how this affects them,” Morales said.
To students, the necessity for these sorts of programs is crucial as such crimes do carry widespread and lasting effects.
Sophomore Zach Galvin notes that it’s imperative for students to be engaged and aware, as various crimes affect more than one person.
“I think it is important that we as a community do everything we can to support these victims, and not only them, but everyone affected, their families included,” Galvin said. “One good way of supporting them is just raising awareness for the situations and hopefully preventing further incidents in the future.”
With various events like this on campus year round, many students feel more engaged and informed on various topics, including the importance of crime and victim awareness.
“I think what they are doing out here is great for us students” Galvin said. “They are helping us gain awareness of services for our benefit so that we can be more engaged and involved in our community.”
Along with events such as National Crime Victims Week, Trinity police are spreading the word about campus saftey meausres and programs. With these goals in mind the Community Awareness and Resource Team (C.A.R.T.), led by Morales, hopes to give as much as they can back to students.
“We are actively trying to bridge with the community and with students to show them that why we are really here is for their sake,” Morales said. “Everything we do is for the students’ safety; they can depend on every one of us.”