The Student Voice of Coastal Carolina University



Safety in numbers

DPS encourages students to travel together to outings, designate sober friend

The new 2023-2024 school year has begun, with students flocking to various on and off-campus events to meet new friends, dance to their favorite tunes, and explore what Conway has to offer.  


However, as these events can extend far into the night, there’s also a few things to keep in mind when planning these activities. 


While freshman marine science major Allison Adams does not attend parties, she said she heard about multiple unsettling instances from friends regarding off-campus parties.  


“My roommate said that the frat parties are just really loud and crazy and how they feel like kind of unsafe going to them,” Adams said. “I feel like if you just go out alone, that’s probably not the safest thing to do. As long as maybe you have a safe group of friends, that’s probably the best thing to do. Also, if you’re at a party, don’t put your drink down.” 


Chief David Roper, the director for the Department of Public Safety (DPS), said students should assign a designated protector when going out to parties and other college events. He defined this as an individual within the students’ group to stay sober, observe surroundings, and ensure no one is left behind.  


Roper said it is important to be on the lookout for individuals who prey at night on “soft targets,” as he calls them, who might have consumed too much alcohol. 


“It’s unfortunate that we have some people in our society today that go around, and they like to prey on other individuals,” Roper said. “They’ll go up and try to lure that individual to just leave or ‘here, have another drink.’” 


According to the DPS 2021 Crime Statistics Report, there were 50 liquor violation arrests, 33 drug violation arrests and seven forcible sexual offenses reported on campus. Additionally, reports of stalking, domestic violence, aggravated assault and illegal weapons possession were listed. 


Bevelyn Mitchell, the associate director for interpersonal violence for the LiveWell Office, said the University is not unique from other campuses across the nation as interpersonal violence is widespread. The office provides training programs such as Step Up! Bystander Intervention, Recovery Ally and the Peer Educator program to prepare students for any uncomfortable situation they may encounter while going out.  


“The most important thing that any student can do is that if they see something, to say something,” Mitchell said.  


Confidential advocacy services are available at the LiveWell Office at 843-349-6543 or [email protected]. DPS can be contacted at 843-349-2177, including a tip line through text or phone call at 843-349-8477.  

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