A Night with the Local Officials
On October 3rd, 2023, Southwestern University hosted the National Night Out in the Academic Mall, an event that allows students to build a stronger relationship with SUPD as well as the Georgetown Police, all the while having a blast with friends and faculty.
At the event, there were activities that students could get involved in: DJ karaoke, raffle tickets, and a photo booth. There was even a buffet…and no, it wasn’t full of donuts. It wasn’t long before a line formed;the majority of the food was gone by the end of the night! “Everyone was involved in the activities there,” said first year Chloe Jordan. She and a couple of her friends got to play around with the ring light photo booth and were able to send the photos directly to their phones. The staff and students who are in JEDI were very involved in the event;they walked around and engaged with everyone there. The Dean of Students, Shelley Story, was impressed with the turnout of the local firefighters and police. “It was so good to see our community officials show up and interact with Southwestern students and faculty. It’s always so positive to see people who have such a serious job in a different setting; it reminds us that everyone has more complex identities than what we see on the surface.” Early in the event, both the local firefighters and police officers had to leave and report back to duty.
However, the festivities didn’t stop at the DJ, photo booth, or the raffle prizes; there was also a dunk tank station as well. Chief Brad Dunn was the first to sit on the suspended bench and get dunked. Eventually, a line was formed to throw the softball and attempt to dunk him. The first person to dunk Chief Dunn was a young girl, who ignored the rules, ran up to the target and pushed it. Dunn continued to be dunked by various students before he retired off the bench. Soon, Story took his spot on the bench. Story knew that it would be hard for JEDI Center to recruit enough people who were willing to be dunked, so she volunteered herself At that point, housing coordinator Autumn Lange was the only one in line, throwing the ball until she hit the target, aka Chief Dunn. “I enjoy playing games and love competition. To add on top of that, I work with the people who were being dunked so naturally, I wanted to dunk on them,” said Lange. Story recalled her time on the bench, “Being on the deck with Autumn throwing, I felt confident that she would dunk me, which she did, twice!”
In the end, everyone left the event, knowing that Southwestern is a safe place and students could go to the campus police if they have a problem. “I feel that tonight’s event really connected students and police officers and ensured that Southwestern University is a safe place,” said Jordan. Lange expresses her feelings, “National Night Out allowed students to see SUPD and GPD as less of an authority figure and more personal, which builds relationships and helps with future events.”