By Cassondra Kirby/editor

Before the recent assaults on campus, Kari Santo, a resident assistant in Dupree Hall, used to walk across campus by herself after dark – now she takes someone with her.”My girls, we’ve all talked about it – walking in groups, in lighted areas and other safety precautions,” Santo said.

Santo and the other RAs in Dupree are even going to offer a self defense class for female residents in the co-ed dorm to learn more about protecting themselves and safety precautions to take when walking alone on campus.

Along with Dupree, other residence halls held meetings after a female student was assaulted when jogging on campus last week. The meeting encouraged students not to walk alone, use the campus night shuttle, walk on populated, well lit streets and paths and to always be aware of their surroundings among other things.

The campus residence halls’ staff are not the only group on campus working to express the importance of personal safety.

After the attack, public safety sent a mass e-mail to the campus community containing a composite drawing of the attacker that reportedly assaulted an Eastern student. Also, safety tips were posted on its Web site.

“I sent a bulletin to people and posted it in the dorms containing the attacker’s composite and other additional tips that people can take to protect themselves,” Tom Lindquist, director of public safety said.

“There are some good valuable information there that can help people protect themselves against becoming a victim.”

We are just trying to keep as much a visible presence as we possibly can out there and patrol as much area as we possibly can,” he said.

Although Lindquist said public safety is working to be visible as often as possible, he said others must realize they can only do so much and students need to do their part in being safe.

“All of us have roles to play in keeping our campus safe,” Eastern President Joanne Glasser said. “Please follow the advice provided and immediately report anything suspicious to public safety.”

On campus sexual assault safety tips from public safety’s Web site

*Use the shuttle bus service.

*Be aware of other people around you, stay alert.

*Do not walk alone.

*Inform the person whom you intend to visit of your expected time of arrival.

*Be brief and business-like with strangers that stop you for directions. Do not feel you have to be polite to those who annoy you on the street, in a bar or at a party. The more self-confident, strong and assertive you appear, the less likely you are to be considered a target.

*If you are a witness or a victim to voyeurs or exhibitionists, notify the University Police immediately.

*If you are a victim of any crime, notify the University Police immediately.

*Familiarize yourself with the local community in which you now live.

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