Safety on Campus

Safety on Campus

The most important advice I can share about safety on campus is to stay AWAKE & AWARE. So many students have a laid-back attitude about safety until something happens on campus. And students get into trouble when they become complacent and comfortable. Parents with kids leaving for college: Please take the time to have the tough conversation with your kid before they attend school. The following safety on campus guidelines can reduce the chances of someone becoming a victim of sexual assault, theft, or another common campus crime. SELF PROTECTION VS. SELF-DEFENSE “Self-protection is what allows you to prevent, identify and avoid violence. Self-defense is what you do when this isn’t sufficient or enough - the situation you are in suddenly changes, your assailant has managed to disguise the actions and behaviors that they need to engage in before assaulting you etc.” (SEPS) CAMPUS SAFETY TIPS We’re polling on social media to create awareness for young people on college campuses. Want to see the results of those polls? Please join the conversation and participate on Facebook. One of the best self-defense tips is contained in the acronym GFTG. What does GFTG stand for? If you feel unsafe walking through a dark parking lot at night, what is the first thing you should do? What should you do if an assailant grabs your hair? Which of the following is one of the most vulnerable places on the body? What’s the best defense if someone grabs you from...
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

Tips for Your College Student to be Aware of Their Surroundings Parents, your college or high school student is probably looking down at her smartphone most of the time (if not all of the time). Which is fine, except she needs to look up, look around, and be aware of her surroundings - especially away at school. Before she goes away to school, whether it’s for the first time or returning, please share these tips with your student to keep her safe. Look behind you. Look to the side, both ways. Look in front of you. Are there people around you? Did it suddenly go quiet? And if so, why? If you get a funny feeling in your gut, get up and move away from where you are. Trust your gut. Trust your intuition. If you are walking, put your phone down and look where you are going. Nothing is that important. If a reply is something that must happen immediately, then stop walking and reply, or better yet, call the person old school, like we used to do. WALKING AROUND… 1. Get in the habit of noticing your surroundings. When you walk into a new environment, look around. Notice where the other exits are. Wake up. Look. Put your phone down, by your side and look around. 2. Walk with purpose. If you are lost, walk with purpose to find someone who can help you. Make it a habit to look up from your phone, tablet or computer often. This takes practice, but it’s important. Your safety is more important than any social media happening, text message, or...
Talking About the Tough Stuff

Talking About the Tough Stuff

Continuing the Conversations Going away to college is a huge transition. It’s a huge stressor. No matter how much freedom you’ve given your teen, there’s a huge leap between living at home and moving away and living on your own. The sudden freedom, access to alcohol and drugs, pressure of social media and stress— it’s a lot to deal with. So I help families learn how to talk to their teens about the tough stuff and get their kids to start listening, using laughter, and knowledge gained through personal experience, to provide conversation starting points. We need to wake up and make sure our teens know that they need to be aware of their surroundings. Hopefully, you laid the groundwork for this talk when your teen was younger, and began stressing the importance of personal boundaries. For example; no one else should ever touch your private parts. Hopefully, there were also conversations about stranger-danger, and about what kinds of physical touching were okay and what types were inappropriate – and about what to do if someone ever did touch them inappropriately. These are not always the most fun conversations, but they are necessary. Even if you feel like you haven’t had enough talks of this kind, it’s not too late to coach your teen to have stronger, or better, personal boundaries. This is a conversation that needs to start BEFORE your college freshman leaves for orientation. The talk about sexual assault on college campuses is just like the drug and alcohol talks that hopefully began a while ago and that you continue to have. These are serious topics with...
Into the Red Zone

Into the Red Zone

Pulling Back the Curtain on the Red Zone I’ve heard the phrase “The Red Zone” used to refer to the period of time between the beginning of the fall semester and Thanksgiving since I first began speaking on campuses and at conferences—but why is it called the Red Zone? Because there are more sexual assaults on U.S. college campuses during this time than at any other time during the school year. The 2007 Campus Sexual Assault Study discovered that more than 50% of college sexual assaults occur in either August, September, October, or November. As school starts students are meeting new people, trying to fit in, and exploring new boundaries. Students may be new to the city, adjusting to a new environment and getting acclimated… with less parental supervision and increased independence, students may begin experimenting with drugs and alcohol. I’ve been speaking on college campuses and at National College Conferences since 2008. Every person I’ve met and worked with loves college students. Many of them start their days at 9 in the morning and stay on campus for activities until 9 or 10 at night, simply because it’s really rewarding work to help make a difference with young people. Of course people working at colleges care about students’ safety. I believe that 100%. But the majority of staff who work on college campuses did NOT go into criminal justice, which makes the issue of sexual assault on campuses incredibly challenging. It’s not their area of expertise. I firmly believe in the power of prevention and awareness. That’s why I am pulling back the curtain on “The Red Zone”....
To The Parents of College-Bound Kids

To The Parents of College-Bound Kids

What I Wish I Knew Before I Left For College Going away to college is HUGE. It’s rated one of the top life-changing challenges that we go through, right up there with divorce, and the death of a spouse. It is THE most challenging transition for college-bound kids, since they usually have not married or divorced yet. And what do we focus on when preparing them? Academics. That seems obvious, right? It’s a competitive world and they need to learn how to study, and write papers on a whole new level. And yet, there are some things even MORE important than grades, tests, and study habits. Like safety. And responsibility. And accountability. I don’t remember knowing what those words really meant before I went off to my freshman year. Your 17- or 18-year-old is dying to get away from you and have “freedom”. They may not listen to you anymore. You may have turned into the Charlie Brown teacher to them years ago: blah blah…blah blah blah blah blah… So how the heck are you going to get them to listen to YOU when you try to talk to them about the tough topics like sex in “college,” drinking responsibly, the dangers of legal and illegal drugs, and sexual predators? How will you know you are getting through to them? You don’t know and you can’t. They do not want to talk to you about this stuff and deep down, you don’t really want to talk to them about this stuff, either. Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby Let’s face it—with all due respect, most of us are uncomfortable talking...
Comedic Motivational Speaker Part of Aggie Welcome and Orientation

Comedic Motivational Speaker Part of Aggie Welcome and Orientation

LAS CRUCES - College is often a place where young adults face difficult situations for the first time. Comedic motivational speaker Elaine Williams visited New Mexico State University to share her experiences and strategies to help students avoid common pitfalls. Williams is a comedienne and certified life coach who speaks at colleges around the country and shares her story of sexual assault and ways students can avoid dangers that put themselves at risk. She uses her comedic talent to engage audiences on how to have fun and be socially safe. “This is such an important topic that I wish all students could hear the message,” Williams said. “I don’t preach. I tell my story in a humorous and powerful way and explain how I overcame some bad choices. I also educate about how to avoid becoming a victim.” Williams also gives tips about being balanced in the college environment, how to have a successful college career and how to relieve stress and unwind without abusing substances. According to Williams, her goal is to help students embrace the challenges of student life in healthy and moderated ways. Williams’ motivational speaker appearance is part of Aggie Welcome and Orientation, which takes place each fall. This year’s activities include an AggieSplash event at the natatorium, an Aggie Hoedown at Corbett Center and an improv show at the Corbett outdoor stage. “I am thrilled the university asked me to be part of Orientation week and that NMSU has such high regard for its students that it’s willing to tackle and address these issues out in the open,” Williams...

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