By Steve Holt, Opinion Editor
Women living on campus are being told to exchange blows if attacked by someone.
But not in the way one might think.
By Friday the roughly 1,100 female students living on campus will have received a whistle, which they are being told to blow if attacked, said Jimmy Ellison, chief of police and director of Public Safety.
About 640 whistles have been issued to freshman and sophomore women on campus because women’ safety on campus is a top priority, Ellison said.
The whistles are one part of an effort by the Campus Life office, ACU Police and the University Counseling Center to create a greater awareness of personal safety among women on campus.
Meetings in each women’s residence hall will feature discussion on three main topics, Ellison said.
The women are briefed on general personal safety tips, specifically how to avoid becoming victims of date rape and avoid unhealthy relationships.
“Many young women away from home for the first time can get involved in a dating relationship at college and not recognize some signs that the relationship may not be what they are looking for,” Ellison said.
Reaction from those receiving whistles has been mixed.
“At first I thought it was a stupid idea, and that whistles were not going to stop someone from attacking you,” said E’den Wooten, freshman nursing major from Dallas. “Now that I have it, I feel a little more safe.”
Brianne Furino, sophomore sociology major from Thousand Oaks, Calif., said she thinks more thought needs to go into the program.
“If I had a whistle I’d be tempted to blow it,” Furino said. “It’s a good idea, just not too well thought out.”
Ellison stressed that the whistles, which carried an overall price of $1,885, were well worth the money spent.
Ellison said the whistles were not in response to any specific incident.
“We want ACU to remain a safe place to live.”