COLUMN: We need to work together


Rob Le Cates

Kyla Moton is a junior English major and can be reached at 217-581-2812.

Kyla Moton, Columnist

At the end of this semester, I will have been in college for three years. It has been a very long journey, but an eye opening one as well.

I enjoy talking to prospective students about my experiences so far: the classes that I have taken, what professors have been amazing and the professors that have not been too helpful. I get lots of questions when I work for the admissions office and give tours.

I also get questions about making friends, meeting new people and student life overall. These are great questions to ask, because as a student on a college campus you will want to know what it is like interacting with other students. I always give students a warning about people that they may meet on campus as well.

As the weather gets warmer, more people plan to be on campus for different events and parties. I never tell my tours about things that happen off campus because I do not want to seem like I am promoting off campus parties or the culture of students that you may run into at these off campus parties.

Especially since I am usually in the presence of these high schooler’s parents, I just inform them that it is up to student’s discretion to decide whether or not they would like to attend off campus events and I leave it at that.

But, in the back of my mind, I am usually thinking about things that I have seen off campus. I always encourage students to have at least one friend that they attend events with, go to the dining halls with or anything of that nature.

When it comes to off campus events, though, I do see it quite more often than not that people go to parties on their own. As a recovering shy kid, I found it very difficult to even go to the lobby of my residence hall by myself when I was a freshman and even a sophomore.

But now that I have walked this campus everyday since August of 2020, I definitely find it easier to do now than ever before.

But, it is a different story once you step off of Eastern’s campus. I have been stared down in grocery stores, come across flags and signs that do not make me feel comfortable, and I have seen things that definitely were not normal.

Going to parties in college, you will always encounter someone under the influence who may not need to be under the influence. Whether they are underaged, which most times we really cannot pinpoint, or if they are extremely intoxicated, I have witnessed it.

I have had my own experiences where I would be with my group of friends and someone is acting completely out of the ordinary. Then you look at the people surrounding them and they do not know any of these people.

It is a sad reality, but going out in groups is your best bet to stay safe in any situation. Especially for the ladies. Going in a group makes it less likely that someone will be able to coerce you into leaving with them.

If you come with a group of friends, you must make sure that you are leaving any event or function with those same friends. You never know who may be plotting on you or someone in your friend group.

If you are at a party and you have to use the bathroom, bring a friend with you to make sure you get to the bathroom and make it back. If you need to go outside for some fresh air, bring a friend with you to make sure you are okay and then go back to wherever you were once you feel ready.

Lots of people may not believe in intuition, but I do. If you get a bad feeling while you are out that something may happen, it is time to leave. It is not our obligation to take care of one another, but you would want someone to do the same for you if you were in their shoes.

People who leave you while you are intoxicated in a strange place are not your friends. And you should be willing to help out other people who may have lost their friends or are not in the best condition. As a student body, we speak so much about our campus community, so the best way to strengthen that community is to help others out when you have the ability to. 

Kyla Moton is a junior English/creative writing major. She can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.