UMPD holds annual USafe event

On-campus resources boothed at the event

Judith+Gibson-Okunieff%2FCollegian

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Collegian

By Cassie McGrath, Collegian Correspondent

The University of Massachusetts Police Department hosted their annual USafe event in the Campus Center on Tuesday afternoon, informing students of the many safety resources available on campus.

According to the UMPD website, “USafe 2018 is an interactive event highlighting a range of safety issues on and off campus, organized by the UMass Police Department (UMPD) and collaborating partners.”

Robert Laford, assistant director for emergency management, said that the purpose of USafe is “to showcase the different departments that have resources on campus to make sure students are self-prepared.”

USafe included free food, activities, giveaways and raffle prizes. The event staff was handing out bags at the door to prepare students for the experience.

The event was run by Lt. Tom O’Donnell of the UMPD. O’Donnell said, “We are here to promote the resources the University [has]. We realize that many students are aware that the programs exist, but do not know how to access them. We usually hold the event at the beginning of every year. We want to remind people that we are here to help.”

Some of the booths showcased were the Student Legal Services Office, UMass Environmental Health and Safety and University Health Services.

There were also other organizations present at USafe that provide resources that many students may not be aware of. Luis Perez, a representative from SNAP, was at the event informing students about how the program helps students receive access to food if they are in need.

“I’m going to be in 102 Wilder Hall on Oct. 5 and in room 314 of the Student Union on Oct. 11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. helping students fill out their SNAP application, seeing if they’re eligible,” Perez said.

Michele Letendre, M.Ed, was also at the event representing the Center for Health Promotion on campus informing students about the services they provide.

“Our purpose here is really one of the main areas that ties into USafe – safe sex. Having students ask, ‘How do I keep myself safe’ is one thing that we bring to the event,” Letendre said.

“Each of us has a duty to put our safety first,” remarked Laford. “Do you have your emergency alerts turned on?”

Cassie McGrath can be reached at [email protected]