BSG hosts Ray Response training discussion

Nicole Yeager, News Editor

This past week, the Bucknell Student Government (BSG) Advocacy Committee hosted their annual “Ray Response Training” sessions, with Director of the Counseling and Student Development Center Kelly Kettlewell and Chief of Public Safety Steve Barilar to speak about campus safety. The two guest speakers discussed the types of services that each of their resources offer, as well as when and how to reach them for help. The event took place in the Great Room of Hildreth-Mirza Hall on Monday, Oct. 19 and was split into two iterations, one at noon and another at 6 p.m., along with an option to Zoom into the former talk. This flexibility gave students a wide window of opportunity to attend the event and learn more about safety resources available to them on campus. 

“While this is a traditional Advocacy Committee event, we believe that, in light of recent events, it is more important now than ever to be aware of safety resources on campus,” Taylor Armstrong ’23, the chair of the BSG Advocacy Committee, said. “Additionally, this was the first time we incorporated the Counseling and Student Development Center in the event, as we recognized that Public Safety is not a resource for all communities on campus and it is not the only type of resource students might need.” 

After her introduction by Armstrong at the beginning of the talk, Kettlewell spoke on the services offered through the CSDC, as well as her thoughts on what students should know about the resources open to them. She explained that the CSDC exists to address urgent mental health needs in students 24/7. She then highlighted two approaches to counseling in relation to the occurrence of an emotional/mental trauma, stress, or hardship, labeled proactive and reactive, respectively. Kettlewell shared examples of students who visit the center often to maintain their mental health (proactive), as well as students who turn to the center in times of need (reactive). Kettlewell noted that “all students were aware that seeking mental health support services can be a good way to proactively take care of yourself,” and that “professional mental health support is just one way to care for emotional health. Talking with loved ones, writing in a journal, getting enough sleep and exercising are examples of other ways to care for yourself.” 

Barilar explained some of the services offered through Public Safety, including their 24/7 open calling, escort service and the blue lights located around campus, among many others. He also shared that students are active in utilizing these services and noted, for example, that all DoorDash drivers have been identified at this point. The event was then opened up to questions from students in the audience. Kettlewell and Barilar spoke of their close relationship through their careers and worked together to answer questions. 

To conclude the event, the two expressed that the CSDC and Public Safety work hand in hand to ensure the safety of all students on all levels. While Public Safety services address the primary physical safety of students in various potential situations on campus, the CSDC then follows up to ensure or restore mental health and emotional safety. 

I believe that it is important for all students to be aware of their resources on campus and how to best utilize them. Knowing when to contact Counseling vs. when to contact Public Safety is crucial to developing a safe environment at Bucknell, both for ourselves and for our peers,” Armstrong said. 

I believe we all have a responsibility to keep our community safe and because safety is not one size fits all, it’s important for everyone to learn about resources,” Kettlewell said. “Campus safety is always a work in progress and not an end goal that is achieved and static. We can always work to improve safety for all members of our community.” 

“Being on campus this semester has been challenging for so many students, and it is impacting each one of us differently. The Ray Response Training reminded me of the importance of taking care of myself, as well as others at the University. Dr. Kelly Kettlewell and Chief Steve Barilar did a fantastic job of sharing all of the different support systems individuals can turn to while on campus. I think every student should experience this program,” Jillian Flynn ’22 said.

The CSDC is available 24/7 to support students both proactively and in situations of urgent need. Students can always call the CSDC (570-577-1604) to consult about available resources.

The Public Safety department is available 24/7 to provide services and assistance to students in all situations, emergency or not. Students can always call them at 570-577-3333 or 570-577-1111 for emergencies. Students can also access their website for links to other resources. 

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