May 30, 2024

Safe Living, a new workshop at Wittenberg, was designed primarily for students in rental properties who may be living on their own for the first time.
“I believe that everyone is their own best person to keep themselves safe,” said Mark DeVilbiss, associate dean for residence life.
The program, designed by DeVilbiss, required one representative from each student rental property to attend the workshop, and two representatives from each student organization hoping to have an event with alcohol.
The workshop was divided into three parts: fire safety, burglary and theft prevention, and social hosting, which is hosting an event where alcohol is present.
Throughout the hour and fifteen minute long workshop, students were given tips about fire safety and prevention and vehicle and home theft prevention, as well as how to be responsible while hosting an event where alcohol is served.
Some of the advice included checking smoke detector batteries, making sure that windows can both open (for fire safety) and lock (for theft prevention), keeping valuables out of sight in vehicles, scheduling a vacation check while away for long periods of time, and registering social events with alcohol.
“We want students to know some helpful tips for keeping people safe, reducing their own risk and liability,” DeVilbiss said.
Although the workshop was not necessarily inspired by an increase in theft, fires, or alcohol abuse, DeVilbiss said that he wanted to enhance the existing programming for alcohol awareness with more safety tips for students.
He also said the safety and security of Wittenberg’s students should always be first priority.
“I just identified the needs that are on our campus,” DeVilbiss said. “It is [the] best practice to host workshops about safety.”
In the past, DeVilbiss said that safety-related programs had not been successful, mainly due to a lack of student participation.
However, the first two workshops held on Sept. 9 and 10 were successful, with a lot of student participation, according to DeVilbiss.
DeVilbiss hopes to gather feedback about the workshops and incorporate them as just a part of the beginning-of-the-year routine, adapting the topics based on what happens in any given year.

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