Joie Davis, a theater student from Tallahassee walks on campus everyday with her book bag clutched going to and from various classes at different times of the day.
Her attention is snatched when she sees the word rape written on a large sign advertising the FAMU Police Department’s self defense class.
Davis is one of the many students caught off guard by the sign.
She acknowledged that she never knew there was a self-defense program offered on campus.
“It’s amazing how much is offered at FAMU that the students don’t know about.” Davis said. “Safety is important because the majority of students on campus are women.”
Davis doesn’t claim to be a scared person, but said she does have to be cautious because of the threat others may bring.
“There must be some threat out there if a rape self defense class is put on such a large sign,” Davis said.
Many students are wondering why such a big sign was put on campus.
The sign was the idea of FAMU police officer Sherri Luke.
Luke said she wanted to raise awareness of sexual assault on campus.
“I just wanted to get the message out as loud as possible to as many people as possible,” Officer Luke said.
Luke’s concept behind the larger than life sign is to expose the student body to what the FAMUPD is offering in order to make the environment safer on campus.
While there was no apparent crisis that directly warranted the bold advertisement. However, on the topic of rape Luke waists no time or assertiveness.
According to Luke, FAMU has had a low number of reported rape assaults, but she is firm on the belief that people shouldn’t wait until there is a problem before taking action.
Classes on various topics would be offered from people with an age range of 12 on up.
“When individuals call the number for the rape (class) they open the door to all the programs offered by the Police Department.” Luke said.
Programs such as Victims’ Advocacy, S.A.F.E. Team, Safety Presentations, Aid to Victims of a Sexual Offense, Operation Identification and Drug/Alcohol Education are just a few of the other options that are exposed to people finding out what the big sign’s all about.
A positive increase in calls has been made since the sign was planted on the grounds of FAMU, according to Luke. “There are tons of big signs for all kinds of parties around campus by the various organizations here.” Luke said. “I wanted to make the same impact.”
Many students do feel safe walking the campus of FAMU.
Kendra Williba, a biology student from St. Louis said she doesn’t feel threatened when walking around campus.
“Besides the cafeteria incident, I feel safe on campus.” Williba said.
She explained that she is appreciative of what the Police Department does for the students.
“I think it’s good that the administration is taking an active role in protecting the campus.”
Contact Alfred N. Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org