Safety Week at EMU

In light of the recent wave of violent crimes on and surrounding Eastern Michigan University’s campus, Student Government has deemed the first week of February Safety Week.

Student Government will host a series of safety-related events, addressing issues like snitching, alcohol abuse and sexual violence. Other events include an off-campus housing fair, which will provide students with information about the security measures offered by off-campus landlords, as well as free HIV and STD testing.

Student Body President Desmond Miller said the recent deaths of students, including Demarius Reed and Julia Niswender, in addition to the several sexual assaults that happened in the dorms last semester, are “unfortunate to say the least.”

“This past year has been a lot for the student body,” Miller said.

Miller hopes the Safety Week events can help to educate EMU students about ways they can stay safe on and off campus.

“I encourage everyone to attend at least one of the events this week,” Miller said.

Safety Week’s wide range of events include:

Do Snitches get Stitches?
Monday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. in Student Center room 310A
Summary: A discussion to promote the act of relaying information in regards to safety, and why it has a negative perception attached to it.

Don’t Blame It on the Alcohol
Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. in Student Center room 310A
Summary: An event that will teach students how to drink responsibly. Students will also get the opportunity to ask EMU staff questions regarding medical amnesty and EMU’s alcohol policy.

Sex Signals
Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. in Student Center Ballroom A
Summary: An educational program focused on sexual assault awareness and prevention. Two presenters use engaging and often humorous techniques to connect with the audience on serious issues surrounding sex, dating, assault and consent.

Free HIV Testing
Wednesday, Feb. 5 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Student Center room 104
Summary: Students are able to get HIV tested for free and know the results within 20 minutes.

Off Campus Housing Fair
Thursday, Feb. 6 from noon to 4 p.m. in Student Center Ballroom A
Summary: Students will have the opportunity to talk to realtors and representatives of multi-unit housing facilities about living options for the next academic year.

Gamers for Giving
Saturday, Feb. 8 and Sunday, Feb. 9 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in Student Center Ballrooms A & B
Summary: A local area network party and competitive video game tournament that helps raise money and awareness for Gamers Outreach Foundation. Funds raised are used to build portable video game carts for children in hospitals, and to send video game care packages to U.S. troops overseas.

Miller said he is most excited for Sex Signals on Wednesday.

“Our culture tends to shy away from talking about sexual violence,” Miller said.

He believes the conversation needs to change from teaching victims about how to prevent sexual assault to simply teaching people that sexual violence is not okay.

Miller is also proud of the upcoming housing fair, previously run by two outside groups, but will be run by the Student Government for the first time.

“It’s our job to ensure they have the opportunity to have options for a safe and affordable housing while they attend EMU,” Miller said.

Apartment owners who signed up to get a table at the event were required to complete a questionnaire with questions about the security of the properties.

“The questions came directly from the common questions I hear students ask in regards to housing,” Miller said. “Thankfully, everyone’s been very cooperative and we haven’t had any complaints about any of the questions.”

All of the events included in Safety Week offer LBC credit, according to Miller.

“All of the events are so different,” Miller said. “There’s something for everybody.”

Editor-in-Chief Jess J. Salisbury contributed reporting to this article.

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