An anonymous scholarship donation, campus safety and new IU additions all our first episode of the season.
“Rachel’s First Week”
In Her Memory: Rachael Fiege’s death inspires program dedicated to student safety
By: Kate O’Rourke
A new program was added to this year’s welcome week agenda. Freshmen gathered to listen to fellow college students talk about how to keep themselves and their friends safe.
“My world stopped. I’ve never felt that kind of pain in my entire life,” said Hannah Elliott, Ball State University junior.
Elliott described the moment that she learned that her best friend Rachael Fiege died in 2013.
Rachael suffered a fatal head injury after falling down a flight of stairs at a party before attending her first college class. Six hours passed before anyone called for help.
Rachael’s family and friends are encouraging students to make smart decisions as they transition into adulthood through their program, Rachael’s First Week.
“I think, as with what happened to Rachael tragically, that they didn’t think she was hurt. So, I think part of making the call is first of all recognizing that there is an issue at hand. Part of our program today is to try to dispel some of the myths about drinking and alcohol and passing out and things like that and just make people realize how very, very, very dangerous it is to drink to the point that you’re not responsive. That is a time to call for help,” said Angi Fiege, Rachael’s mother.
Indiana University students are encouraged to seek support from campus resources like OASIS. Located in Eigenmann Hall West, OASIS offers safe, judgment-free information about alcohol and drugs.
Visit the OASIS website for more information about programs dedicated to helping students with the struggles that come with college. There is a link for more information about the Indiana Lifeline Law.
Spreading the word about the Indiana Lifeline Law to students is a primary goal of Rachael’s First Week. The law protects people who call 911 when they are with a minor who has consumed a dangerous amount of alcohol.
Rachael’s First Week plans to expand its message beyond central Indiana, reaching out to college groups, high school seniors, and parents of college freshmen.