Event to feature 16 community safety exhibits

By Alex Brinkhorst

Being a student in college comes with a large amount of independence and with that students have to take their safety into their own hands. Students may wonder who they should talk to when something goes wrong.

Off Campus Student Services can answer those questions and to help provide crucial safety information as they host Wildcat Block Watch, an informational fair on Friday, Aug. 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help raise safety awareness for both on and off campus students. 

Created last year by the OCSS, Wildcat Block Watch’s main goal is to help give students the information to get help when they need it. The OCSS also offers a wide range of services including information on short term and long term housing, and community ambassadors who focus on community outreach and other programs.

Some of the organizations at this year’s event will be include the UK Police Department, Lexington Police Department, Lexington Fire Department and University Health Services. 

They will provide information and unique events such as a “live burn,” where the UK Fire Marshal will set fire to an isolated room, and the fire departments will put it out.

Wildcat Block Watch not only focuses on violence, crime prevention and fire safety, but also weather safety, CPR and bike safety. 

Also featured are the many programs in place like the LiveSafe App, UK Alerts and the Safe Ride Service. 

With 16 different exhibits, the information is meant to benefit students who live both on and off campus.

More students are willing to contact student services in order to get the help they need after attending Wildcat Block Watch. 

Compared to two years ago, an increase of students has started to ask for help, according to Donna Gabbard, the senior program specialist at the OCSS.

“It is about getting to know who your neighbors are, reporting suspicious behavior and looking out for yourself and others,” she said.