DPS Sip and Stroll canceled, to be rescheduled

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DPS Sip and Stroll canceled, to be rescheduled

Department of Public Safety . Photo by Yin Yue / yin.yue@marquette.edu

Department of Public Safety . Photo by Yin Yue / yin.yue@marquette.edu

Department of Public Safety . Photo by Yin Yue / yin.yue@marquette.edu

Department of Public Safety . Photo by Yin Yue / yin.yue@marquette.edu

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Marquette Student Government planned a student-lead initiative to make campus and Avenues West a more cohesive place, but it was cancelled Wednesday due to sub-zero temperatures.

The initiative, “Sip and Stroll for Safety,” was scheduled for Wednesday evening but will be rescheduled for a future date.

Eliza Luvianos, an MUSG Senator, engineered and organized the initiative in an effort to bridge the gap between Marquette and Avenues West. Avenues West is the area bounded by Highway Blvd. to the north, N. 28th St. to the west, Interstate 43 to the east and Interstate 94 to the south.

The initiative’s Facebook invitation describes the Sip and Stroll as “a walk in the evening to demonstrate the safety of campus and the surrounding Avenue’s West Neighborhood. All students are invited to attend in order to learn more about our community and get to know our public safety officers, as well as identify areas of low lighting. Hot chocolate, coffee and tea will be provided.”

Luvianos said she was inspired to create Sip and Stroll by an open forum University President Michael Lovell hosted last year. Lovell has discussed many topics since becoming president and Avenues West is one of them.

“Our main priority is student safety and the weather was not safe or healthy for students,” Luvianos said.

Estefania Elizondo, MUSG chair of student life, said two of the most prominent items that Avenues West lacks are lit pathways and trashcans. She used the example of 16th and Wells, saying its by food places with no trashcans in sight.

“We want to keep campus clean … and ensure it is safe,” Elizondo said.

The eventual hope for the initiative is for MUSG to gather student feedback, observe and create data and submit a formal report to Marquette to create changes to Avenues West.

“It’s important for me and the entire community to highlight the improvements needed,” Luvianos said.

Sip and Stroll was supposed to be held in conjunction with the Department of Public Safety’s Chief Paul Mascari and a crime prevention officer who both donated and volunteered their time to help with the tour.

“This is student-led and not because DPS approached us, it’s our responsibility as students and a government organization,” Luvianos said.

Meagan Sodaro, a freshman in the College of Education, said she shifted her initial opinion of Sip and Stroll after learning about the safety initiative behind it.

“Before I wouldn’t have ever considered going,” Sodaro said. “A safety stroll? No thank you! But the whole back story is really cool.”

Luvianos said that DPS wants to hear student opinions but if students aren’t present or willing to share them, nothing will change.

“There’s not a better way to get involved (in the community) than (students) doing it themselves,” Luvinaos said.

Sodaro expressed excitement about getting involved in Avenues West.

“Street lights would help with safety, so you can see people and your surrounding area,” Sodaro said. “You’re not going to walk down a street that’s completely dark, that’s stupid, but if it’s lit that’s another story.”

“This is a great starting point; I’m really excited,” Luvianos said. “It’s important for Marquette to be aware of the issues we have and be proactive in living, learning and creating a healthy environment.”

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