Western Nevada College is working on being proactive with student safety.
To help keep students safe on campus, the Associated Students of Western Nevada have been passing out devices that sound an alarm if a student ever feels in danger. The college partnered with BASU to provide the device for students free of charge.
“For us, student safety is a priority,” said Jamie Mcninch, WNC director of information and marketing. “If students feel like a place of education is safe, it is one less barrier for their success.”
The device, called an eAlarm Sound Grenade, emits a 120 decibel noise when a key is pulled. The purpose is to hopefully deter an attacker with the noise by drawing attention to the situation.
Mya Papolu, public relations director for BASU, said they have gotten reports from customers the Sound Grenade has helped prevent muggings, assaults and other potentially violent situations.
“If we can solve situations before it happens, that is the best case scenario,” Papolu said.
Papolu said the Sound Grenade can be more effective than other self-defense weapons such as pepper spray because the weapon can’t be used against the victim in an attack and it’s small and non-violent so users can bring it through TSA, festivals, parks and federal buildings.
The WNC community shares the same sentiment that proactivity is a better way to try to address campus violence.
“It is our responsibility to do what we can to provide tools for students and the students I have talked to said it is great to know the college is thinking about its students,” Mcninch said.
“I am a parent and our kids rely on their parents to keep them safe and when they venture out beyond their walls they still need some protection so we owe it to our students to keep them safe,” Mcninch said.
WNC student Alexis Rodriguez said she and her family felt safer being on campus once she started carrying her Sound Grenade.
“My first semester, my family, especially my father, was hesitant to have me going to classes on campus because of the things that may happen,” Rodriguez said. “But my dad was ecstatic when I got the Sound Grenade, that I was safe. It is great that WNC offered it.
“These are amazing, especially for new students on campus because you hear scary stories ... and it makes you feel safe.”
The school handed out the Sound Grenades to students during orientation and the devices are also available in the Student Center all year.