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Have fun, be safe, NIU officials urge

August 31, 2012

Victor E. Huskie and friendsNIU’s Department of Police and Public Safety is encouraging students to enjoy their weekend on campus responsibly.

“The start of the semester is an exciting time, but students, alumni and guests on campus should use good judgment and apply sound personal safety practices in an effort to help ensure a fun and safe weekend for all,” says Sgt. Alan Smith of the NIU Department of Police and Public Safety.

Campus events for students this weekend include a dance hosted by the Black Student Union from 11 p.m. tonight until 4 a.m. Saturday at the Field House. Tickets can be purchased in advance from 6 until 10 p.m. in the Duke Ellington Ballroom of the Holmes Student Center.

NIU students must show their OneCard to purchase tickets. Guests must be signed in by an NIU student and produce a valid college or university ID. Tickets are $5 for NIU students, $10 for guests. Tickets are also available online at

At 2:30 p.m. Saturday, students are encouraged to tune into the Soldier Field Showdown, as the Huskies take on the Hawkeyes of Iowa. The Huskies enter the game with the longest winning streak of any Division I football team in the nation.

Aware that students like to let off a little steam after the first full week of classes, both the university and city will be stepping up police patrols on and around campus to ensure that any partying is safe and sane. Representatives from the university’s Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management also will be in the area all weekend to monitor things and assist any students in need.

“Part of the Huskie Pact is to strive to be part of a disciplined community,” says Kelly Wesener Michael, acting vice president of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management. “And that extends to events outside of the classroom. We expect our students to adhere to our community standards, and those who don’t will face consequences.”

Whether on campus or off campus, police urge students to take basic precautions to avoid problems

“We always preach personal responsibility and awareness of your environment,” Sgt. Smith says. “Have fun and be careful not to put yourself in a bad situation.”

Smith suggested the following safety tips:

  • Walk in well-lit areas with a group; use the buddy system.
  • Be aware of the surroundings; don’t become distracted while walking.
  • Watch drinks when attending social events.
  • Don’t drink and drive.

He also encourages students to take advantage of the Late Night Ride Service, which provides free, door-to-door, no-questions-asked rides to NIU students, is wheelchair-accessible and can seat up to seven passengers.

Students are encouraged to use the service this weekend and can make arrangements by calling (815) 753-2222.