Blender accidents shouldn’t be a laughing matter. In fact, they are usually moments of tragedy. Still, the life of a Campus Times news editor is a bizarre one – especially if you write the weekly Security Update.
When I think about it in more depth, the blender headline – “Student hospitalized after blender accident” – wasn’t even humorous. If only you could see the CT office floor.
In a little more than a semester as news editor, I’ve managed to sneak through a few good ones. Last March, a few freshmen got stuck in a bathroom one weekend for a few minutes and had to have the door opened by UR Security. The headline? “Trapped freshmen escape dorm bathroom.”
That same month, Hutchison Hall was evacuated after some chalk was found on the floors. There was some uncertainty as to the nature of the substance. “Hutchison evacuated after powder panic” ran the next issue.
It’s not all fun, though. Every week, UR Security Investigator Dan Lafferty sends a number of raw stories to my co-editor Bonnie and me. From there, we pick a primary one to use in the main headline and anywhere from two to four other security incidents to report on.
In all, the security updates are an interesting look into the extralegal and medical happenings on campus each week. It’s easy to assume that everything in there is bad news – and unfortunately this can make UR look somewhat unsafe.
The point of the weekly Security Updates is not to make UR look bad, or to highlight people who break the rules. Rather, UR Security provides us with the information in hopes that students will read what happened and aim to avoid such situations in the future.
A good example is this week’s red car-driving creep who hides in the bushes. By providing information, UR Security is not trying to scare anyone, and not telling students not to walk along the river, but rather to be smart and look out for what’s out there.
It’s a useful service and a good idea for students’ benefit. In addition, it serves to highlight students who get out and help others.
The Medical Emergency Response Team, while not usually getting a shoutout in the Security Update, is responsible for many of the accounts of people being transported to the Medical Center. Clearly, they are a good group to have around – and deserving of their first mention in the Think Safe report this year.
Medical emergencies aren’t always the best pieces to include, but sometimes they’re all we have. The Feb. 16, 2006 issue features a particularly interesting medical drama – “Student suffers shellfish sickness.” My fourth grade English teacher would be proud.
Obviously, it’s not a terrible thing to have a little fun every now and again with what should be a serious topic. There’s a line in the sand, however and the copy editors never let me cross it.
If this week’s headline bores you, blame it on them then. “Mysterious man malevolently marauds minors” got rejected.
Majarian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.