As spring semester comes to a close, many BYU-Idaho students are looking forward to enjoying summer activities such as exploring the outdoors, meeting new people and going on dates. Dating can be a fun way to get to know new people and build relationships, but it can also be a potentially dangerous.
While Rexburg is one of the safest college towns in America, students are still vulnerable to date-related crimes such as sexual misconduct, domestic abuse and other forms of sexual harassment, especially toward female students.
“One of the biggest concerns that the (women’s advisory) council members have had is dating safety,” said Mary Jo Huntsman, IT Operations Coordinator and Women’s Advisory Council chair.
In an effort to educate and inform students when it comes to dating safety, Nick Rammell, Title IX Coordinator, has created a list of guidelines to reduce the risk of sexual harassment.
According to BYU-I’s Title IX website, the first guideline for reducing risk is to exercise good judgment and to be careful when using dating apps.
Sarah Gooden, a junior studying elementary education at BYU-I, met her husband through a popular dating app. Because of her experiences using dating apps to meet new people, she suggests it is important that students be extra cautious when meeting potential dates in person for the first time.
“When you meet someone from Mutual for the first time, have someone with you because not everyone is who they say they are online,” Gooden said.
The second guideline suggests that when meeting someone you don’t know from a dating app or somewhere else, meet in a public place with good lighting. If a date insists on meeting somewhere private such as their apartment, consider it a red flag. No matter where you are meeting, tell a trusted friend where you are going and who you will be with.
Finally, do not be afraid or embarrassed to leave a situation that feels unsafe. Trust your instincts and be willing to put your personal safety above someone else’s feelings if you are put in a dangerous or uncomfortable situation.
Following these guidelines will help you avoid dating dangers and better enjoy meeting others.
For more information or to report a concern, visit the Title IX website here.