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UTRGV focuses on campus safety

BY Bryan Ramos | THE RIDER


For the second year, UTRGV will observe National Campus Safety Awareness Month, providing opportunities for the campus community to become more aware about the risks that come with being in a university.

David Marquez, the assistant director of Student Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) in Brownsville, said the university’s duty is to create a safe learning environment for the campus community.

“Part of our main goal is to promote a safe, friendly environment for students, and that is something we collaborate with closely with other departments,” Marquez said. “If we work together, we can be more efficient, working directly with students to help resolve any issues they may encounter.”

The events kicked off last Tuesday and Wednesday with Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Information sessions on the Edinburg and Brownsville campuses, hosted by the Office of Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention and the Superhero Project.

Mass communication students Stephanie Canales and LeeAnn Macias said they don’t feel safe walking alone at night.

“We have night classes and where our location is at, there isn’t enough lighting,” Macias said. “Usually, us girls will team up and walk together and one person will drive them to their cars so nobody is alone. We create our own safety system because we don’t see that within the campus.”

To help raise awareness for the reality women experience on a daily basis, the University Police department and SRR will host an information session on Safety Tips for Evenings and Walking to Remote Parking Lots from 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Main Courtyard on the Brownsville campus and at the same time Sept. 26 at the Student Union in Edinburg.

Today, Residence Life and Environmental Health, Safety & Risk Management will host a Fire Safety Awareness and Prevention Informational Campaign from 10 a.m. – noon at Casa Bella Clubhouse in Brownsville.

The University Police department and SRR will host Coffee with the Cops from 9 – 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Student Union in Edinburg, giving attendees a chance to have an open conversation with the campus police officers who patrol university grounds. The event will also be held at the same time Sept. 20 in Brownsville’s Main Courtyard.

“This is an opportunity not only for police officers to demonstrate to their campus community, who they serve, that they’re here to be proactive and work with the community,” Marquez said. “It’s also an opportunity for the students get in a conversation with officers, learn about the work that they do and who they encounter. We’re all members of the same community; they’re here to keep the campus safe.”

“Because I Got High,” an event focused on drug use, will be presented by the Recovery Center. The event will take place from 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Atrium on the Edinburg campus and at the same time Sept. 27 in Brownsville’s Casa Bella Clubhouse.

For more information regarding National Campus Safety Awareness Month, visit the UTRGV Student Rights and Responsibilities-SRR Facebook page or call Marquez at 882-5034 in Brownsville.


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