By Lyndsey Hartzell
With only 47 members, KUBoK is currently recruiting any and all volunteers to get involved in the walking program designated to promote safety in the Kutztown community. The recent stabbing of a 22-year-old KU student has brought on and off campus safety to utmost importance in the weeks following the incident.
“Becoming a member is easy and you never walk alone,” said Cole Mitchell,KU junior and one of the group walking supervisors.
The program is looking for volunteers to walk on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. during the semester. KUBoK is currently recruiting through email. Mitchell says they are reaching out to different groups in the community as well as fraternities and sororities on campus.
KUBoK, or KU Borough of Kutztown Neighborhood Watch, is a group on campus that helps tie the university’s faculty, staff and members of the community to the Kutztown Borough Police Department to help promote safety in the community. The campus group was started in 2007 after the death of KU student Kyle Quinn.
KUBoK has an office on Main Street. Kutztown mayor, Sandra Green, is a member of the group.
First year graduate assistant in charge of KUBoK, Alana Greene, 22, said one of the biggest misconceptions related to KUBoK is that they are out to bust parties. She said, “We don’t interfere with criminal activity or with parties. We just make sure that students are safely getting home and safely getting around.”
KUBoK is a volunteer program, so the group has a great need for help. Mitchell says the walkers will not end up going out to help others if people do not show up for their walking shifts. This was the case on the night when our fellow student was stabbed, said Greene.
KUBoK offers a training program, used to teach volunteers about safety and what to do in certain situations, twice per semester. The process can be expedited through video, but Greene said she wants to make sure potential members get the best training before sending them out to walk.
Greene said while on duty, groups of three volunteers go out as needed to escort students where they need to go. The volunteer members receive a radio connected to the KU police department dispatcher when they head out and are alerted if anything out of the ordinary happens.
One of the benefits of being a volunteer is the hours of community service contributed to KUBoK can be listed on a resume. Another benefit is that certain professors will offer extra credit for completing walking shifts.
Paul Sable, professor in the business department, mentions that it’s important for faculty to be involved to set an example. He feels it makes students aware of their surroundings and improves all around community wellbeing.
KUBoK advertises the program’s need for volunteers in the Daily Brief, Twitter and Facebook. KUBoK intends to keep recruiting and to find new, creative ways to make students and community members aware of the efforts made towards a safer atmosphere here at KU. You can add KUBoK to your friends list on Facebook to get more information from the source.