If you live in an apartment in Blacksburg, VA and you are a student at VT, you are now more safe than ever.
To continue the development of safety implementations on campus, a new program encouraging constant companionship in social settings is being introduced.
The Blacksburg Police Department has partnered with Virginia Tech Police, Blacksburg Transit, Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, Virginia Tech Athletics and Virginia Tech Office of Emergency Management to raise awareness and promote safety in town and on campus through a new program, No Hokie Left Behind.
Neither gender nor situation specific, these new safety initiatives are “made for anybody and everybody,” said Lieutenant Nathan O’Dell of the Blacksburg Police Department.
“We wanted this to be a proactive way for people to lessen their chance of becoming a victim,” O’Dell said.
The new program was started when Blacksburg Police wanted to branch out from their Adopt-a-Cop program, a safety initiative within fraternity and sorority life that allows organizations to be assigned an officer to assist them with specific issues, and reach a greater population of the Hokie nation.
“We’re still in the beginning stages, but our main goal is for this to eventually be completely student led,” O’Dell said. “We are just a catalyst for what we hope will become a student organization and continue through the years.”
In addition to this becoming a student led safety implementation, Blacksburg police also plans to be a continual support network for the organization through both educating and training its members.
This idea already seems to be taking off with the Virginia Tech Panhellenic Council and Interfraternity Council. The councils hosted a pledge table outside D2 where they offered information on different ways to stay safe, in addition to inviting students to take the No Hokie Left Behind Pledge.
The motto “go with friends, stay with friends, leave with friends,” was created around the idea of a buddy system. According to the Blacksburg police, a “friend” is someone known and trusted by an individual for more than a few hours.
“There was a big push to help people be safe while out having fun on Halloween, but we are looking at doing monthly safety messages throughout the year,” O’Dell said.
To keep students informed on future safety events, updates will be posted to the No Hokie Left Behind Facebook page. A Twitter handle is also currently being developed.