Cop Car

IUP campus police respond to instances in university buildings and residence halls. They can be reached at 724-357-2141.

Each school year brings stories of controversy and tragedy, some across the country and some close to home.

We can’t control the world we live in. 

A shooter opened fire at a Madden video game tournament in Jacksonville, Fla. on Sunday. 

In previous years, racist Snapchats circulated around campus. We had members of our own student body feeling unsafe in an environment that claims to be welcoming.

Every day people get arrested in Indiana for drugs, alcohol-induced bad decisions and burglary. 

We can’t do anything about the choices other people make, but we can control the lives we live.

With this new school year, The Penn recommends prioritizing the safety of yourselves and others.

It’s no secret IUP has a reputation among state schools as a “party school,” and just like any school, we know there will be drinking and bad decisions. 

That should never result in disaster.

If you do go out, be safe. 

Watch your drinks. Don’t go out alone. Always be aware of your surroundings.

If the situation looks safe enough, help someone who needs it. Especially when drinking is involved, people tend to get into dangerous circumstances. 

Watch out for your friends and others. If you see something, say something.

There are other times to speak up.

As student journalists, we encourage you to speak your mind on topics. The Penn welcomes Letters to the Editor for that reason.

We love to see students partaking in healthy, educated debates.

But just as there are times to speak up, there are times to shut up.

In college, you will meet people with different backgrounds, religions and sexual orientations. Learn about them. But unless you’re thoughtfully and politely asking someone about themselves, it is not necessary to comment.

It’s never OK to call someone out on differences they cannot change. It’s never OK to use derogatory terms. It’s never OK to treat someone as if they are of a lower status than yourself. 

Remember that the people around you are just that: people. Being a 22-year-old that has to belittle the people around them to feel good about themselves has not, nor has it ever been, cool.

While we are a part of the news media, we don’t enjoy reading or writing about heartbreaking accounts. 

We hope we can get through the school year without a shooting or another drunken tragedy.

To those in Greek life and athletics, we understand the unfair generalizations made about how you spend your weekends. Please try to not fulfill those stereotypes.

To those who think you could never be the ones to get caught drinking illegally, driving drunk or doing drugs, you can be. Don’t do it, and you won’t have to worry about getting caught. 

Nothing ruins the college experience quite like a court appearance and a handful of fines. We get it.

Stay safe, IUP.

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