As students prepare to celebrate the conclusion of another academic year and in some cases to graduate, I think of such times — and boundless opportunities — from my own college years and from my daughter’s.
The next two weeks can be an amazing time of your life. To ensure they are, I urge you to review these three pieces of advice:
- Walk away from large gatherings. Without a crowd, a situation is less likely to get out of hand. Arson, riots, assaults — they’re situations that can land even bystanders in jail. Local police will be out in force the next two weeks. They will not tolerate large or loud parties, nor illegal fires, nor other unlawful activities. Walk away.
- Act responsibly. Alcohol poisoning, accidents, sexual assaults, arson and riots happen more frequently with drugs and alcohol. Make a pact with close friends; help each other. Act responsibly.
- Look out for yourself and for others. National data shows as many as 20 to 25 percent of university women are victims of completed or attempted rapes. Nine of 10 know their offenders — often, as friends.
- To all female students on our campus: Stay alert, stay aware, stay together. Be proud. Take care of yourself and others.
- To all male students on our campus: Be smart. Protect each other. Uphold a culture of respect. Take care of yourself and others.
As CMU students, you are responsible for upholding the Student Code of Conduct on and off campus
, and you face suspension for violations. Seniors, that means you, too. A suspension in your case would mean you won’t graduate in May.
As campuses across the nation grapple with such issues, I ask each of you to celebrate in ways that protect the safety and dignity of yourselves and others. Don’t be a bystander. Speak up. No Zebras.
Each of you has professional and life goals to achieve. By acting together, as a community, you’ll move each other toward them. Be safe, Chippewas.
President George E. Ross