Kent State’s freshmen class has three different ways of learning about how to be safe on campus: an hour-long safety presentation at Destination Kent State from the Women’s Center, DeWeese Health Center, Police Services and the Office of Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services, a meeting in their residence halls during Welcome Weekend and mandatory ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) training during their freshman year.
However, for a university with eight forcible sex offenses in 2013, the most at any university in Northeast Ohio, this is not enough training.
We understand the university does not want to scare freshmen who are already nervous about moving away from home and living on their own for the first time. However, one in four college women will be the victim of sexual assault during her college career, according to the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.
In addition, there is a rape every 21 hours on an American college campus, and students are most vulnerable during the first few weeks of their freshmen and sophomore years, according to the center.
Students need to be educated and aware of possible dangers on campus, and that education needs to start as soon as they set foot on campus.
Welcome Weekend is obviously meant to welcome them to the university, and while it’s important for them to be excited about college, they need to be aware.
The fact that there were no specific safety presentations during Welcome Weekend, other than a short meeting in the residence halls with their resident assistants about staying safe in the dorms, is inexcusable. There should have been presentations from the police department and other departments on campus about how to be safe on campus.
College is a time to have fun, but scary things can happen, and students should be aware of and prepared for that possibility.
The above editorial is the consensus opinion of The Kent Stater editorial board.