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Humans of the U: Aarushi Rohaj

Helping make campus a safer place for students.

“At the beginning of the year, a lot of my friends were talking about safety on campus, but I wasn’t sure what was correct information. There are so many perspectives floating around.

It is important for me to shape my own perspective, with access to first-hand information, so I could have a better understanding of what safety culture is for me on campus. I thought instead of talking about it we could do something and take action to get more students involved.

That led me to register a student organization focused on safety, which we’ve called SAFE—Students for Action Focused Empowerment. Our major goal is to increase safety communication between students, faculty and the administration. We feel we can bridge the gap between students and the administration with open forums to share ideas and concerns about safety culture on campus.

We are trying to do forums bi-monthly. So far, we’ve had a forum with the university’s Department of Public Safety and one with Senior Vice President of Student Affairs Lori McDonald and Michele Ballantyne, co-chair of the Presidential Task Force on Campus Safety. Both were very interesting.

Then, last semester I had an evening class down near the library and I didn’t want to walk back to housing. My professor mentioned that SafeRide had just launched. I thought it was really cool that you could pick it up at any location on campus. I got the app and really like it a lot. I wondered if many other students were using it and learned many students didn’t know what it is or how to use it. It is such a great resource, especially when students have classes later in the evening.

As I was walking through buildings, I noticed the Courtesy Escort stickers on doors and thought it would be great to have a SafeRide sticker, too, so more students would see it and be aware of it. I proposed the idea and the university made SafeRide stickers that are starting to go up on buildings. It is really cool to see them going up on doors. It is awesome!”

—Aarushi Rohaj, sophomore, majoring in biology and founder of SAFE. Email to learn more.