Western Michigan University is encouraging students to be vigilant while celebrating the end of the 2020-2021 academic year, per an email from WMU Student Affairs.
“An anticipated increase in parties requires a similar increase in awareness of your surroundings and you and your friends’ safety,” the email read. “This ‘red zone’ time of year is exacerbated by unsettling stories about drink tampering in our area that have surfaced in recent days."
The email reminded students to go out in groups and keep track of friends. As well following your instincts. If something feels “off” students are advised to leave the location.
It is also advised to never accept a drink or ingest anything from a stranger. Keep control of your drink and do not leave it unattended. If the drink is left alone, throw it out and make a new one.
Students should also be aware of how they’re feeling. If one experiences a sudden change in how their body feels, tell a friend and seek help.
“It is unfortunate and regrettable that we must take these steps to counteract those who wish to do harm,” the email read. “Make no mistake: In instances of harm, the responsibility lies entirely with the perpetrator. Period. You should be aware that in Michigan drink tampering is a crime punishable by imprisonment and large fines.”
WMU also offers support and educational information available to help keep students safe. Students can find the information here.
“While we're talking safety, one last thing: Please remember that even though the weather is warmer and the last papers are being turned in, we remain in the midst of a pandemic,” the email read.