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Red Zone Seeks to Help Students Prevent Assault, Overdose on Campus

By: Matthew Kissel

An emergency blue light phone located between the library and the Natural Sciences building. (Photo by Matthew Kissel.)

Red Zone Prevention has come to Purchase at a time where students are at the highest risk of assault, overdose, and rape. This is a series of meetings held on campus to educate students about certain issues that occur most frequently nationwide on college campuses in the first two months of a semester.

Students have the opportunity to talk to resident coordinators and learn about any and all Red Zone related issues that students are at risk for. These events help educate students on what Red Zone is and offers them the chance to learn about free resources on campus for these issues.

Lauren Johnson, the prevention coordinator at the Wellness Center, believes that Red Zone Prevention is a good way to help students.

“It helps bring awareness, keep our peers safe and helps educate the community on how we can reduce the risks of these issues,” said Johnson.

Although these issues are bound to happen on any college campus, Purchase seems to be a community where students feel safe around their peers. In talking with some students it became clear that these issues, and how they affect students, can depend on what type of people you surround yourself with.

Bernard Scudder, a senior theater and performance major, hesitated when asked if he would consider Purchase a heavy party school.

“It varies, sometimes it can be very dead and stale but it really depends on the students,” said Scudder.

“What stops students from getting the help they need is not knowing where to go,” said Jessica Damour, the resident coordinator for Farside.

According to the Clery crime statistics for Purchase many of these issues do fluctuate year to year. Liquor law violations referred for disciplinary action and rape dropped by nearly fifty percent 2017 to 2018. However, dating violence and drug law arrests both increased from 2017 to 2018.

“I haven’t seen a lot of violence or fights,” said Agustin Aguilera, a sophomore computer science major. “Purchase has always felt like a good place to interact with people.”

In an interview with a student intern who chose to participate in the Red Zone events it became very clear how important Red Zone is to any campus and why it is important that students have knowledge of what Red Zone is.

“A lot of students don’t understand what the purpose of Red Zone is,” said Anna Marion Schuman, a junior communications major. “I think its importance is often times underestimated, and it’s a very important aspect of campus life.”

Some people who struggle with these issues have a fear of stepping forward and admitting that they have a problem. Whether it be substance abuse, alcohol abuse or any sort of mental health problem, it can be hard for people to step forward and confront these things. This can often lead to a friend of an individual stepping forward on behalf of someone they know.

“I do think there is fear for some students to go to the resources that they need which brings us many people that come to us concerned about a friend,” said Candace White, the resident coordinator for the Commons.

Red Zone has the goal of making students more aware of the resources they have available to them should they feel the need to seek them out. However, seeking out help comes down to the individual and every person is different in the end.

“Because people have differing personality types and fight or flight responses, the ways that these issues are dealt with differs with each person,” says Schuman.



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