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Who are MacEwan’s Safe Walk volunteers, and what do they do?

by | Mar 18, 2024 | Campus, SAMU | 0 comments

Do you feel uncomfortable walking alone to your car, apartment, transit station, or elsewhere after dark? If so, you should check out MacEwan’s Safe Walk program – they provide at least two volunteers to walk students to their destination in the evenings from Monday to Friday, from 6 to 9 p.m. 

Of course, this is a volunteer program that anyone can participate in. It will look good on your resume, especially if you’re taking either the correctional services or police studies diplomas. If a student is interested in joining, they can create an account on Volunteer Hub and see if volunteer intake is open. “When intake is open, individuals can select that they are interested in Safe Walk,” says Safe Walk assistant Kelsey Holmquist. “They will receive an email with information about the service and an interview scheduling link.”

As for the training process, Holmquist says volunteers will complete a Safe Walk online training course. “They also complete the “It Takes All of Us” course on meskanas that OSVPER (Office of Sexual Violence Prevention, Education, and Response) has developed for students,” they added. “After they finish the online components, their first shift is a buddy shift with either a returning volunteer, the Safe Walk Assistant, or the Student Services Manager. Volunteers must contribute at least one shift (3.5 hours) a week; this is from 6 pm – 9:30 pm on a weekday.”

A lot of crimes occur after dark. With the Safe Walk program, the chance of you becoming the victim of theft or assault is greatly reduced as the likelihood of someone attacking a group of three or more people is low. As a young, hijab-wearing woman who takes the train around 5 p.m., I could request a Safe Walk to walk me to the MacEwan Station and wait until I board my train. There are often dangerous-looking people hanging around, no security personnel (and even if there is, it’s just one officer), and the station isn’t always full of students late at night. Waiting for the train home can make me very uncomfortable. I’m often looking at how many minutes until the train comes, constantly checking my surroundings, pulling my hood over my head to hide my hijab, and bracing my back on the glass walls of the station, so no one can attack me from behind.

If you’re like me and have to wait for transit to get home or even walk just a short distance to your destination, I certainly suggest taking advantage of the Safe Walk program. To request a Safe Walk, students can text 780-975-5766 or approach a volunteer patrolling campus.

Photo from SA_MacEwan on Instagram

Zaneb Alzubaidi

The Griff


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