Over the course of the three years that I have been attending college, I have seen some pretty interesting and progressive changes, especially after transferring to ISU. For example, I thought it was absolutely amazing that the Bone Student Center has a Diversity Center. However, I feel like, on the same premise of making people feel safe and wanted on campus, we need to pay more attention to safety--providing something for those who feel like they're being followed or harassed by another student or community member, or even if they need a place that's quiet to work things out.
My idea, in essence, is to have a safe zone on campus, whether it be a room in the Bone or a house like Encounter has.
Just somewhere for someone to go where a person of authority also is. That way they can feel safe and wait out whatever they need to, regardless of who they are or what is going on with them. I would love to see it away from the main entrances, nestled into a corner like the Diversity Center is on the second floor.
On March 20, I received a crime advisory email from the university rehashing the events of an altercation between a group of people in which a male suspect displayed an open pocket knife to a female in the opposite group.
On March 16, I was followed home by a stranger. Even though we were both in cars, his desire to get my phone number was so great that he tailed my car, flashed his lights, and made gestures at me through the windows.
One way that this could be accomplished is to have it headed by counseling services and be partially student-run, meaning students could volunteer to take shifts to be able to help run the safe zone. Sometimes it's easier to talk to a peer instead of a counselor, and it can give students at ISU a chance to be involved in campus life.
It may also be able to serve as service hours for majors like psychology, education, and social work, or even some extra credit for those who want to participate. If ISU's police wanted to be involved as well, that can help those who feel the need to report an incident if they feel the need to.
Overall, I think that something like this can greatly benefit ISU's campus.
Not only can it offer students a place of safety, but it can ease the minds of students and parents. With the rise of removing the stigma around mental health and ISU striving to accommodate all of its students, it offers something to further the work being done. Being safe is always a priority for colleges, so why not add to the measures already in place?