Eastern Michigan University hosts students of the Early College Alliance (ECA); this allows high school students to take university courses for credits, in order to help advance their education and save money.
Though they are enrolled at local high schools, ECA students are also officially EMU students. They have an EID and they spend their day on campus taking classes. They can join student organizations and are more than welcome to use all on campus resources.
While it is great that these children are recognized as students and given the full access to the resources we make available to students at EMU, I think it’s important to go that extra mile with ECA students to make sure they are aware of everything campus has to offer.
Some kids don’t have the same privileges others have, like having someone they feel safe talking to about their life. That makes places like the women’s resource center, the LGBT resource center, and the Department of Public Safety so necessary. Both public and personal safety are very important, and we need to be doing as much as we can to maintain this for those who don’t have much control over their own lives.
Dr. Ellen Fischer, the principal of ECA at EMU, was able to provide more information on the high school students introduction to campus and how they do their part to make resources known.
Every orientation, ECA gives a run down of DPS, what they do, and what they offer on campus. For new students, they have a more in depth presentation, running about an hour and a half, where the blue lights on campus, public phones, different types of harassment and more, are discussed.
Other topics are also addressed including ALICE training (active shooter), diversity, and personal wellness.
ECA students, like the rest of us, were also required to take the online sexual assault training we had with Title IX. While this training is a great first step to get students talking about healthy relationships, consent, personal safety, and other important topics, it isn’t very oriented to those on the younger side of the spectrum. I think great additions would be talking about familial sexual abuse, dating abuse of all types (including emotional, psychological), and online sexual abuse (grooming, spreading nude photographs).
All students are able to go to the DPS station on campus at any time and receive a free personal safety alarm and pepper spray. Officers will also give you quick demonstrations of how they both function. It would be a great addition to the ECA orientation for both new and returning students to let them know of this campus resource, talk to them about how to use it responsibly, and show a quick demonstration.
ECA’s main focus with safety for the rest of the semester is pushing the ALICE training, which was available to students to sign up for, but it wasn’t very popular. I think it would be beneficial to host this for ECA students with regular EMU students in a campus building. The EMU students could get volunteer hours for helping, and it would be a more realistic situation for ECA students to need to know what to do in. We could also do something similar outside, as this is more possible to happen on a college campus with so many different buildings and people walking around.
Also, the ECA website could use some additions. There is a “resources” tab, but it doesn’t have anything leading directly to a list of EMU campus resources. Thankfully, this would be an easy portion to add.
I am excited to see what ECA will do for their students throughout this semester and in coming years, and hopefully, EMU will discuss what they can do on their side to support these students as well.
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