EIU’s Spring Into Safety week kicks off with bingo night

Matthew Posner, Reporter

The event organizers ran out of bingo cards so several students were unable to play Safety Bingo in Thomas Dining Monday night. (Rob Le Cates)

EIU Spring Into Safety Week started with Student Government, the Health Education Resource Center (HERC), and EIU University Police collaborated to bring students a night of bingo.

Over $200 in prizes were handed out as well as educational tidbits on mental health and alcohol awareness. A total of six bingo games were played for six prize baskets alongside a raffle that was awarded to one lucky audience member who matched the winning ticket.

 Several different forms of bingo were played including: regular bingo, 4-corners bingo, “blackout” bingo (which requires participants to fill their entire bingo card to win)  and more. The event was held at Thomas Hall’s dining center, with over 80 participants attending for the bingo festivities and free pizza.

Jasmine Yusef, a senior English major, is on the board for Student Government and helped organize the event.

“The main goal was fun, to have some fun with students, but to also spread awareness about things that are really important like mental health, sexual assault awareness and alcohol awareness,” Yusef said. “We wanted to show that we can have fun and learn about things at the same time.”

Yusef was also extremely impressed with the attendance of the event.

“I’m super happy with [the turnout],” Yusef said. “I think that we definitely should have brought more bingo cards, because our main goal was to have as many people as possible, and we achieved that pretty well because it was Late Night Pizza. People were already here and were realizing that bingo is coming on, so we’re super excited about the turnout. Again, I wish we had more bingo cards, but I think that people took away some safety tips and had a good time.”

Spring Into Safety Week is a 4-day event hosted by Student Government that enables students to have fun while also learning how to have a safe and happy nine days off.

From right, University Police Chief Marisol Gamboa reads numbers as Esperanza Murillo, a graduate student studying health promotion and event organizer from the HERC, pulls them from the bingo wheel in Thomas Dining Monday night. The event was part of the HERC and Student Government collaboration for safety week before spring break. (Rob Le Cates)

Student Government has also collaborated with the EIU University Police for this week’s events, as they plan on participating and attending all the events throughout the week. EIU Chief of Police Marisol Gamboa attended Bingo Night and even called numbers for two of the six rounds. Gamboa shared why she loves participating in these events.

“[I hope to change] their perspective on law enforcement,” Gamboa said. “You can always make a difference with that one student [by] letting them know that the purpose for the police department is to be here for their safety and security. So that’s really what makes a difference for me: Engaging with the students, seeing what they need from us, and being able to provide those resources to them.” 

Also attending the event was university police officer Noah Danner, who assisted Marisol Gamboa in calling numbers and participating with students.

Danner explained why he decided to move to Charleston and work for EIU.

“I was first drawn here just because I wanted to get into policing and wanted to be part of an community I [could get] invested in, and my wife and I’ve been part of the community for a few years now… I just had a great opportunity to get to know folks, and for people to come up and ask us any questions,” Danner said. “[It was great] being able to provide the information that we think is really, really needed out there for folks that are about to go out on spring break.”

More events are on the way from EIU Student Government throughout the week, as Eastern Illinois students prepare to spring into safety next week. 


Matthew Posner can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]