by Melissa Brunner
This is National Crime Victims Rights Week. Perhaps one key way to protect your rights is to take steps to keep yourself (and others) from becoming a victim in the first place.
To that end, as you know, I'm part of this year's Leadership Greater Topeka class. We're divided into smaller sub-groups, each tasked with completing a community project. Our group decided to do a project focused on public safety. We ended up joining with the Washburn Student Government Association to plan an event that's become "Don't Be a Victim: Protect Your Bod!"
First off, Washburn is a very safe campus. But everyone must play a role in keeping it that way. Our event will focus on the two areas to which all of us must pay attention: personal safety and property crime. For personal safety, how aware are you of your surroundings? How much personal information are you sharing on social media? Do you always walk the same routes and follow the same routines? For your property, what items are sitting in your car right now that anyone could see through the windows? Do you leave your car running, unlocked, to warm up on chilly mornings?
Although our event is taking place on Washburn's campus (the "Protect Your Bod" is a takeoff on Ichabod, get it?!), anyone is invited to attend. We've organized a safety fair to take place from 11 am to 1 pm Wednesday in Washburn's Union, room Washburn A. Various organizations with a public safety focus will be on hand to share their resources with you, including Crime Stoppers and Safe Streets. A presentation will begin at 11:30 am and we're so pleased Attorney General Derek Schmidt, Washburn Police Chief Dean Forster, Topeka Police Chief Ron Miller and Shawnee Co. District Attorney Chad Taylor all have agreed to take part. The program will end with a personal safety demonstration led by Stuart Tremlow.
The event is free and we'll be serving up pizza, since it's over lunch time! Give it a listen, if you'd like. Our entire group - Amy Martens, Erin Mohwinkle, Cheryl Creviston, Jeff Dishman, Maj. Kris Kramer, Thad Hartman, and myself - along with Lucas Mullin and everyone at WSGA would love to see you!