A new campuswide initiative called Lakers Keep Lakers Safe invites Grand Valley students to take a pledge committing to building a stronger and healthier campus community.
The idea was initially sparked in a meeting of the Alcohol and Other Drug Services Leadership Council, said Mikaela Padgen, mental health communications and outreach specialist, and has now spread to many participating departments across campus.
“Lakers Keep Lakers Safe is a reminder to our campus community that we take care of one another, and that we have resources available that help us do that,” said Padgen.
The initiative’s website provides a comprehensive list of on-campus resources that are available to students, from access to Replenish Basic Needs Center to information on how to report a campus climate incident.
The goal of this initiative, Padgen said, is to hightlight these resources that have always been available and to remind students that they are part of a community that cares about them and their well-being. With the Lakers Keep Lakers Safe pledge, Padgen hopes to also remind students that they can play an active role in situations they may see happening to their peers.
“More often than not in substance use emergencies, mental health crises, and situations of domestic violence, there is another campus community member who knows something’s going on,” said Padgen. “This is really a call to action to the person who may be a bystander, reminding them that they have the power to speak up. They have the power to connect somebody to a resource that’s available. We have so many people on campus that care and want to be there in those situations that can be really really tough to navigate.”