GIRLS: follow these guidelines

Christine Burroni

This year there have been rumors milling and some supposedly true stories of sexual assaults taking place on campus. Whether or not these rumors and stories are true, every girl needs to recall those rules that your mother probably gave you before you left for school about going out. Here they are again so we can prevent these situations from becoming rumors or even worse, a reality.

1. Never be alone. I know that this is an easy rule that everyone knows, but no one seems to follow it anymore. It’s the prime reason that girls get themselves into potentially harmful situations. Before you go out, talk with your friends, roommates, or group and establish the fact that none of you will leave each other or at least will buddy up. Make it common knowledge that no one can be alone at anytime, even if it is just to go to the bathroom. This rule strictly applies when your friend claims that they’re okay with a stranger. We’ve all been in this situation before and we know it’s preventable. Don’t ever leave your friend even if she seems content. You never know what could happen.

2. Always have your phone on you. In today’s world, especially with our obsession with Blackberries and iPhones, I know this one sounds like a no-brainer. But when you’re out at Toad’s, or maybe even a house party, losing track of things is easy. If you’re getting ready to leave and you can’t find a friend or you’re lost, call someone immediately. Before you go out, make sure you have at least one person’s number before you leave. You might be stranded or alone without it, making you more vulnerable in these kinds of situations.

3. Watch your drink. You never know what can happen to it if you take your eyes off it or put it down. If you do leave it somewhere, don’t pick it back up again. There have been stories of people slipping things in drinks, and obviously you can’t notice them, they’re most likely colorless and odorless. Don’t let anyone you don’t know bring you a drink; you never know what they did with it beforehand.

4. Don’t leave with anyone you don’t know. This is probably the most obvious rule of going out, but it is also the most important. Leaving your original location where your friends are with someone that you met that night is the worst thing you can do, even if it seems like a great idea at the time. In this kind of situation, you are putting yourself in an awful situation. And to the friends of someone that might do this, don’t let them. Whatever you do, do not let your friends leave with someone they don’t know.

Too many stories of girls being victims of sexual assault flood the news; don’t be one of them.

It comes down to using your head and listening to your instincts. If you have a gut feeling that something’s not right, then it’s probably true and you need to leave as soon as possible. Sometimes you can prevent the situation. Be smart.