5K run promotes safety on campus | The Triangle

5K run promotes safety on campus

Drexel University hosted the second annual Run for Safer Campuses Sept. 24 to raise funds and awareness for the nonprofit Security on Campus and their Victim Advocacy program.

More than 100 students and faculty met at the Armory to participate in the event, which was organized by both the Drexel University Police Department and the Drexel department of Security on Campus. Domenic Ceccanecchio, senior associate vice president for Public Safety, said the event was held in honor of September’s National Safety and Security Awareness Month.

”The whole idea is that we have done so much here at Drexel over the past four years to improve safety and security, and we thought this would be a good partnership to highlight things that people need to be aware of,” Ceccanecchio said.

Organizers of the event aimed not only to raise funds, but also to inform students about the services that are available to them through Security on Campus and how to take advantage of them.

“I think a lot of students aren’t aware of what we do and what we are, and we did have students coming up and asking about us. Hopefully students will reach out if they need help,” Melissa Lucchesi, the outreach education coordinator at SOC, said

According to Ceccanecchio, about 125 people participated in the event — mostly Drexel students. Among the attendees were members of the Drexel swim team, who ran to support the cause.

Last year, the inaugural Run for Safer Campuses was held at Villanova University and didn’t have nearly the same turnout, Ceccanecchio said.

“We had quite a bit more runners this time, so it’s catching on,” he said.

Those running the 5K took two laps around campus, for a total distance of 3.1 miles.

“They started at the Armory, ran north on 32nd Street to Spring Garden, followed that to 37th, ran south to Market Street and then back to the Armory,” Ceccanecchio explained.

Participants enjoyed live music and food after the race, and top finishers received prizes.

“We were very happy with the turnout; everyone had a great time. In addition to safety and security awareness, the University is always promoting A Healthier U, so the more people we get out here the better,” Ceccanecchio said.

Security on Campus is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to safe campuses for university students. After the rape and murder of their daughter Jeanne on Lehigh University’s campus, Connie and Howard Clery decided to become advocates for education and awareness about violence on college campuses. SOC, the organization they founded, believes that parents and students have a right to know about violence on college campuses, and that every school should make crime reports easily accessible.

Security on Campus works with victims of rape and other forms of violence and keeps students on campus educated about violence and abuse. According to the SOC website, the staff is “committed to empowering students, student victims and parents to learn about the unique rights afforded to students on college campuses.”

The website also stated that the organization aims to  “provide outreach and training to educate college campus community members about prevention services, collaboration techniques and how to raise awareness on campus about campus crime.”

For more information about Security on Campus and the services they provide, visit securityoncampus.org.