Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Safety Month in Review

You saw the fliers and you got the e-mails that September was Safety Month at FAU. As students settle into their class schedules, dorms, apartments and social lives, the barrage of a new school year begins: new classes, new roommates, papers, parties, credit cards, MySpace, Facebook, traffic, day-old pizza, late-night treks to the library (or elsewhere) and other experiences known as college life. In addition to all this, September in Florida also means hurricane season, so a little preparedness doesn’t sound like a bad idea. This September, for the third year, FAU offered students a chance to educate themselves on the many safety issues that they may encounter on and off campus.

WHAT IS SAFETY MONTH?Safety Month is a university-wide initiative to promote personal and public safety among FAU students and staff. According to Jill Eckardt, the coordinator of Safety Month at the Boca campus who oversaw FAU’s first Safety Month, it was started in 2006 by the Department of Housing on the Boca Raton campus, aimed at educating freshman residents on issues such as fire safety and emergency preparedness within the residence halls. In its second year, Safety Month grew to include events on each of FAU’s four campuses – each campus designated one “Safety Week” in September, says Eckardt, so the entire university community could participate. Now in its third year, each “Safety Week” includesæseminars, presentations, luncheons and tons of free information for the student population on each campus.

WHO WAS THERE?Members of the FAU and local communities were at each campus to promote student safety. Florida Highway Patrol brought crash simulators, allowing a few brave students to ‘feel’ a 10 m.p.h. crash. The FAU wellness center gave students the opportunity to stagger around in beer goggles. AAA, Tri-Rail and Road Rangers offered transportation information, and local environmental groups were on hand. Free HIV tests were available on all campuses and presentations were given on each campus by RAD: Rape Aggression Defense, and IBM Southeast Employees Federal Credit Union talked about identity theft and Cyber-safety. FAU Jupiter hosted “Club FAU,” a simulated night club complete with a DJ and the theme of awareness: participating students sipping non-alcoholic drinks were surprised to learn how easily “something” (in this case, only a tic-tac) could be slipped into their drinks. æThis was a unique sort ofhands-on training. “Club FAU was very well received and a lot of fun,” says Terry Gearing, Director of University Relations and FAU Jupiter’s Safety Month Coordinator. “We look forward to doing this next year.”

WHY SHOULD I KNOW THIS?As college students, you have learned to battle for a parking space and how to get from one side of the campus to the other in ten minutes (freshmen, you will learn). You know where the best bars are and you’re an expert at cooking dinner on a hot-plate. But as members of the FAU community, safety education is necessary and often forgotten. Gearing stresses, “Whether it’s a roommate with an alcohol problem or a natural disaster, we want our students to be prepared to handle the situation.” Maintaining personal safety, as well as physical and mental health, is as crucial to success in college as academic growth.

“As an educational institution, it is another important aspect to educate our students on issues of health and safety,” says Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Safety Month Coordinator in Davie, Marion Merzer. Whether you are new to college life, new to Florida, or still not quite used to the commute on I-95, these organizations offer some practical and helpful information. The next time you need some help on the highway, suspect identity theft or want to know your constitutional rights, you might want to check out these resources featured in FAU’s Safety Month.

Contact sites for the “In case you missed it” box are:

www.fau.edu/ehsæ æFAU’s Environmental Health and Safety Web site

http://www.fau.edu/police/rad.phpæ æ RAD, Rape Aggression Defensehttp://www.fau.edu/jupiter/current-students/psych-counseling.phpThe “Drink Wheel,” an online blood alcohol concentrationcalculator

http://www.niaaa.nih.govæ æ National Institute on Alcohol Abuse

www.samhsa.govæ æ æSubstance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

www.AAA.com/traffic safetyæ æ Offers pick-up and towing services to prevent drunk driving

www.tri-rail.comæ æ A safe alternative for commuter students

511 æand *FHP (*347)Emergency highway phone numbers

www.Constitutionfacts.orgæ æ Know your rights

ACROSS FAUHighlights of Safety Month events at each campus

BOCASept. 2-5

– “Protecting Against Credit Card and Identity Theft” Workshopæ æGiven by IBM Southeast Employees’ Federal Credit Union- Personal Safety Programæ æ æTo educate students on being safe while on campus-Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Program-Safety Committee Safety Walk- Safety Fair,æ Includes presentations on food safety, storm wateræ management, and occupational healthIn the Dorms/University Village:- Fire drills-Weeklong residence hall safety inspection-Emergency preparedness program-Fire safety program


-“Presentation on Deterring Fraud”æ æGiven by Stephen Johnson, IBM Southeast Employees’ Federalæ æ Credit Union-Safety Fairæ æ Information on alcohol and drug abuse prevention, personalæ æ safety and fire prevention. FAU Northern Campus Counselingæ æ Center, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society,æ æ St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Dept.-“Presentation on Identity Theft, Cyber stalking and Socialæ æ æNetworking”-“Presentation on Office Safety”-Sept. 11 Day of Remembrance-Fire Safety Training-Safety Expoæ æ Including giveaways and displays

BROWARD: Davie and Ft. Lauderdale campusesSept. 15-19

– “Protecting Against Credit Card and Identity Theft” Workshopæ æGiven by IBM Southeast Employees’ Federal Credit Union-“Lunch and Learn: Domestic Violence Prevention” Workshop-“Lunch and Learn” Presentation on FAU’s emergency alert systemæ æ Presented via video conference-Fire Prevention Workshop-Safety Fairæ æ Featuring the FAU wellness center, HIV testing, RAD, AAA, Tri-Rail,Florida Highway Patrol, crash simulators, Broward Countyæ æ Environmental Protection Agency, information on online safetyæ æ and bicycle safety.

JUPITERSept. 22-26

-“Binge Drinking: Walking the Line”æ æ Presented by Dr. Phil Cromer-“Club FAU: How to party safely”æ æ A simulated nightclub that allows students to become awareæ æ of possible dangers, serving non-alcoholic drinks- RAD Demonstrationæ æ æA “for-women-only” information session-Heart Walk Sign up-“Backdoor bicycle registration”-“Safety in Cyberspace”æ æ presented by Dr. Sameer Hinduja-Fire safety training and fire drills-Food Safety Presentation: “Is this Okay to Eat?”-“Lunch and Learn”: FAU alert system-Hurricane safety presentation: “Don’t Get Caught in a Storm”-“CPR/First Aid – mini training courses”

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