As students attend Halloween parties, Purdue officials and students share their thoughts on how to stay safe at spooky festivities.
Alcohol: Drinking safely
Students can guard themselves against possible repercussions by getting familiar with Indiana’s liquor laws, Purdue University Police Department Chief John Cox said via email.
Cox specifically referenced the Lifeline Law, which provides immunity to intoxicated minors seeking medical assistance who identify themselves to law enforcement.
“If you do consume alcohol, use the buddy system and don’t walk alone. Be familiar with the Lifeline Law,” he said. “Make the 911 call if you find someone in need of medical attention due to overconsumption.”
Within Greek life, one student said older students have made sure to protect their younger counterparts.
“I feel safe at (fraternity) parties because I only go with my sisters,” said Sydney Ruiz, a freshman in the College of Health and Human Sciences. “The older girls ... they’re always making sure you’re okay.”
President of Purdue’s Interfraternity Council Nathan Longo said in an email that Greek parties are bound by many rules from many different organizations.
“Fraternities must abide by health and safety policies from several sources or governing bodies,” Longo said. “These include their Inter/national organization policy, the Purdue Joint Social Policy and IFC specific risk-management policy.”
A recent shooting at The Hub during an event on Sept. 15 raised questions about the security of off-campus parties.
“After that happened, The Hub hired a security guard to be here at night and locked the elevator and garage door. You need keys to access them,” said Cloria Kong, a freshman student and resident at The Hub, via email. “So I feel much safer now than before.”
Cox said those who have security concerns should report them to The Hub’s management and then to the West Lafayette Police Department if the Hub management doesn’t respond.
Sexual assault: Watching out for danger
Purdue recently released a statement for a reported sexual assault involving incapacitation by drugging at a fraternity event.
Among all undergraduate students, 11.2% of all students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence or incapacitation according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. It has become increasingly important for students to protect themselves against sexual assault and violence.
“Our organizations already are required to go through regular training and education via their inter/national organization and the Purdue governing councils,” Longo said. “But we are working to extend this more.
“IFC will be working with (Purdue Healthcare Advisors) to end sexual assault. We have brought in the director of the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault to offer resources to our chapters, and IFC is looking to be a pilot test for the new ‘Green Dot’ program that Purdue will be implementing across campus soon.”
Green Dot is a training program that avoids approaching only men as potential perpetrators and women as potential victims, according to parent company Alteristic. Instead, it chooses to approach all students, staff, administrators and faculty as allies.
“Hopefully, these additional measures will continue to equip our members with the means to prevent terrible incidents from ever happening,” Longo said.