By: Megan Graves, columnist
So here you are. You’re either adjusting to the college life for the first time, or you’re getting yourself back in the swing of things. It’s the first full week of classes and the only thing getting you through is the thought of the weekend. Maybe you’re looking forward to a 48-hour Netflix binge, during which you will only get up to get yourself a pizza. Maybe you’re going back home because college can be scary and unsettling sometimes. Or maybe you’re getting super hyped for a night out. House parties, apartment get-togethers and bar hopping are all you can think about as your teachers assign your class your first project. While it’s important to let yourself have fun, it’s even more important to remain safe.
As a woman in college, or a man with friends who are women in college, it’s imperative that you take a few extra steps in making sure you and your girls get home safely at the end of the night. It’s important for everyone to follow some safety procedures during their night out, such as remaining hydrated, keeping your belongings close to you, and traveling in groups. For women, however, it goes a little beyond that. Sexual assault can be a very real danger in and around college communities. According to the One in Four Campaign, “one in four college women report surviving rape or attempted rape at some point in their lifetime.”
That’s a pretty scary statistic, to say the least. While it is unfair that women need to take extra precautions in protecting themselves from becoming a part of that gruesome statistic, it is necessary. Now, I’m not trying to scare anyone from going out and having fun. It is simply important to be aware of all potential dangers in order to be cautious of them. Here are some suggestions for keeping you and your beautiful lady friends safe:
-Travel in groups, or at least pairs, even if it’s just to the bathroom. You’ll meet some of your most incredible, five-minute-long best friendships in line for the ladies room.
-Don’t put your drink down, or look away from it. If you set your drink down or are unsure of how long your attention was off of it, just get another one! I know, I’m sorry, your parents probably drilled this one into your head before you got here, but it’s important!
-Keep an eye out for each other. If you think it’s time for your friend to get home and go to bed, maybe make up an excuse so they think you’re leaving because you want to play Mario Party, not because they can’t stand anymore.
And lastly, the most important tip I can offer anyone spending their weekends out, is that if you see something happening to anyone who appears to be unable to give or not giving their consent, say something! And if you’re in a position where you’re unsure of your partner’s consent, stop! Consensual sex is the sexiest sex. If they say no, you gotta go. Don’t push the issue, get some lotion and a tissue.