Campus Safety Week bringing awareness to students

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By Sylvia Butanda
The Daily Texan

Training 80 percent of the student body to conduct CPR chest compressions is one of the many safety goals of John Suffredini, Longhorn Emergency Medical Services director. He demonstrated proper CPR execution Friday during the city’s tenth National Night Out at Jasper Park as a part of the kick-off for UT’s annual Campus Safety Week.

National Night Out was the first safety week event sponsored by Student Government and the University of Texas Police Department. The event covered topics of safety and security and included children’s games and activities and hosted organizations such as Longhorn EMS, University Health Services, Austin Fire Department and the UT Police Department. Also in attendance was a Target representative who gave away school supplies for students of all ages.

The event had many tables, each of which displayed topics related to neighborhood and crime awareness, children’s education and health and safety.

"Ten years ago, Austin’s National Night Out started out with one sponsor and only two people showed up," said Darrell Halstead, UTPD Crime Preventions Unit officer. "Now, we have a great turnout of both people and university and city departments."

Campus Safety Week will continue to address one different crime or safety issue per day, focusing on student safety. Student Government, UTPD, the Residence Hall Program Team, the University Residence Hall Association, University Health Services, Rec-Sports and Parking and Transportation will all bring events to students.

Activities for the week will include a Rape Aggression Defense System workshop, a fire safety demonstration and National Night Out, said Ashley Baker, SG vice president.

"This week is tremendously important because it is promoting safety and wellness through various different educational campaigns and awareness initiatives," said Alisha Patel, Student Government campus safety agency director. "It is promoting all aspects, including physical, emotional and sexual safety, both on campus and in student residential areas."

Student government chief of staff Andrew Townsell said safety is the most relevant topic for students to focus on, and many organizations joined the effort because they felt the same way.

"One of our primary objectives is to make sure students are safe," Townsell said. "It’s one of our commitments as an administration. We have to be relevant to student life, and nothing is more relevant than safety."

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