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FROSH 2021: Safety on campus

By Aymen Sherwani, September 6 2021—

For most people, starting university is also simultaneously starting a new and independent chapter in life where you can stay out for however long you would like, be whoever you want to be, or even go on a three-day bender at a college party if that’s something you’re into. While all of this is fun and exciting, everyone is human and prone to making mistakes that leave us with a lot of regret and anxiety about the future. To mitigate any potential safety concerns on campus, the University of Calgary has provided the following resources to aid students with a range of issues. 

Safety Services 

Picture this ­­­­­­— you’ve lost track of time while studying at the library, suddenly notice that it’s pitch black outside and you’re the only one in the building. Walking to the train station or your car is sounding more and more like the beginning of a true crime podcast than your casual Thursday evening. Thankfully, campus resources like Safewalk and the Emergency Communication System are available to students should they ever feel uncomfortable walking alone at night around campus, McMahon stadium or to the campus LRT. 

Safewalk is available 24/7 and can be reached at 403-220-5333. Students can also download the UC Emergency Mobile app on their phones in order to receive emergency campus updates as well as contact campus security should they be in an emergency themselves and require more assistance. 

Medical Services 

Now that in-person classes are making a comeback, just know that flu season is going to hit harder than ever before. We all know to use sanitizer and keep our masks on but for the more serious medical concerns, students have the ability to access MacHall’s Varsity Pharmacy as an on-campus prescription service which also provides injections and every day cough and cold, pain relief, contraceptives for safe sex and vitamins. 

Additionally, students can also access the third floor walk-in clinic alongside the Wellness Centre located nearby. With the latter, support systems like psychiatric consultations, massage therapy, STI testing, alongside pregnancy and prenatal care are all available to students with the assurance that their concerns will be addressed and kept confidential. At the current time, COVID-19 vaccinations are also available here for mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) and can be booked at ucalgary.ca/wellness-services. To contact the Wellness Centre, call 403-210-9355.  

Post-Alcohol Support Space (PASS)

Driving while under the influence of alcohol, cannabis or other substances is one of the worst mistakes you can make while you’re out partying, but it’s also an alarmingly common one. PASS is intended to reduce the risk of alcohol or cannabis-related injuries on campus, and offer a medically supervised, judgment-free and confidential space located at Cascade Hall where students can get the treatment they need. Escorts can be requested through Safewalk or the Student Medical Response Team from any on-campus location, but are only open on Saturdays.

This is where I would remind you that if you are planning to party and get intoxicated, preemptive planning is the best move. It doesn’t hurt to have a designated driver in your friend group, or even have a naloxone kit nearby — these are available at the Student Wellness Services. Call 403-210-9355 to book a training appointment with a registered nurse. Stay safe, Dinos! 

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