Tag Archives: Leenika Belfield-Martin

How to prevent a “home-going”: Safety tips for Homecoming

Leenika Belfield-Martin | Lifestyle Editor


Courtesy of Leenika Belfield-Martin

Homecoming season has finally arrived. Now is the time for current Hamptonians and alumni to join and celebrate Hampton’s 150 years of being the standard of excellence.

An estimated 3,000 to 5,000 people will be on Hampton’s campus throughout the week. Therefore, it’s crucial that during this time students still practice cautionary behaviors when attending events on and off campus.

If you plan to go to the homecoming fashion show, the homecoming concert or any other school-sponsored event on campus, make sure to bring your student ID with you.

Officer Stewart of the HUPD recommends that students travel in small groups with loyal friends.

“Go with a group [and] look out for each other,” Stewart said.

Refrain from walking alone at night. Students may feel comfortable having an item they can use to protect themselves. However, certain items, such as tasers, are prohibited on campus. If you would like to have a means of protection, you can get approval from Student Affairs to carry mace.

When you see a conflict begin, intervene before it escalates to an altercation. Don’t encourage your friends to engage with people they dislike. Don’t let a fun event be ruined by a petty argument.

Officer Stewart advises students not to confront someone if they may have a weapon. In case of an active shooter, the FBI recommends that you either run, hide or fight.

“Whatever your first instinct is,” Stewart said. “Go for it.”

HUPD has a number of resources students can use to protect themselves and to report a crime. The first is a direct call to 911 or HUPD dispatch (727-5666). The second source is the LiveSafe app, which can be downloaded on your mobile device. This app can be used to make anonymous tips to HUPD and has a safety map option that shows all campus parking lots, buildings and emergency call boxes. A very useful option the app has is the “SafeWalk” option, which monitors your location as you walk. Two other resources that can be used to report incidents are the TipsSoft app and the Awareity TIPS platform on the Hampton University website.

When you leave campus, your phone, keys, wallet and student ID should always be on you. Never leave any of your personal belongings unattended, even for a split second. Know where you’re going, how you’re getting there and how you’re getting home. Let someone know where you are going and check in when you change locations. Do not drive if you are impaired with any substance, whether that is alcohol, marijuana or even prescription drugs.

When visiting the Hampton Harbor Apartments, make sure you know the apartment leaseholder’s name and their apartment number. If you are stopped at the gate, you can always ask the leaseholder to meet you at the gate and let you in.

Tips offered by The Better Health Channel to avoid potentially violent situations are as follows: “Don’t get into a verbal argument if someone aggressively confronts you. Walk away,” and “Don’t [walk] off with a person you’ve only just met. Stay in a public place. If they interest you, get a phone number.”

If you aren’t comfortable giving out your number to someone, Snapchat, Instagram and other social media sites are other options.

The Better Health Channel also urges young adults to “Trust your own judgment. Don’t let peer pressure sway you into doing anything you don’t want to do.”

Remember that you’ll ultimately have to explain to your parents why you got “Out-by-Five,” not your friends or significant other.

If you prefer to be a party host, be sure to set boundaries for your guests and secure valuable items. Only serve alcohol if guests are at least 21 years old.

“There are laws that speak to hosting parties serving alcoholic beverages or making them available to minors under the age of 21,” Stewart said. “It is a misdemeanor offense.”

It is also important to be aware of your residence’s guest laws, which are usually stated in your lease agreement, to avoid a potential visit from the police. For most apartments, such as the Hampton Harbor Apartments, the maximum number of guests an apartment can have is eight people.

The most important tips to remember are to make responsible decisions and think before you act. This way, your homecoming will surely not be your home-going.



Rev. Jesse Jackson talks voter registration to Hampton community

Leenika Belfield-Martin| Lifestyle Editor


Courtesy of Stephanie Smith

Reverend Jesse Jackson, the civil rights leader and second African-American to run for president, visited Hampton University on Sep- tember 20, 2017 at the Emancipation Oak. On that abnormally warm afternoon, about 200 Hampton students and members of the community gathered around the historical tree to hear the wise words of this icon.

Rev. Jackson’s visit to Hampton was a part of his tour of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The purpose of this “Healing and Rebuilding,” tour was to push voter registration. Rev. Jackson said, “We vote for resources. We vote for priorities.” One such priority Rev. Jackson discussed was cancer, the leading cause of death in Virginia. He spoke about the relationship cancer has with the environment and how poorer people often are the ones to suffer the most.

“Those who die the most [and] die the quickest are those who have the least amount of insurance.” Rev. Jackson said.

Rev. Jackson also spoke about the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacist protesters and their adversaries battled over a statue of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

He claimed that the white supremacists have evolved instead of deceasing, saying, “The Klu Klux Klan used to march by night with their hoods on. Now, they march by day without any sense of shame.” The protests turned violent and a driver drove through a crowd of counter-protesters, killing counter-protester Heather Heyer. Rev. Jackson encour- aged the crowd not to forget those acts and to ght the hate by voting in November.

“They killed Heather in August,” he said. “We will remember in November.”


Rev. Jackson shared his experiences living in a segregated south during the Civil Rights Era. During this time he was arrested in 1960 for attempting to use a public library. The crowd recited with Rev. Jackson that “we are not going back” to those times and instead we will move “forward by hope and not backwards by fear.” Now, almost 50 years past segregation, Rev. Jackson said that we must learn to live together after surviving apart.

Accompanying Rev. Jackson on his tour was The New Virginia Majority Education Fund who helped register students at the event. This organization is “the catalytic force for the progressive transformation of Virginia through mass organizing…”according to its website. Last year, the organization had the largest voter registration campaign in the history of Virginia by successfully registering over 168,000 people.

Sauda Speede, who has been with the Education Fund for three consecutive years, said that registering to vote is the first step in making a change in your community. “There’s no point of complaining about certain things in Hampton. If you don’t like it, vote for change,” Speede said.

Speede also said that voting in Virginia should be easier and available to all, even former and current criminals.

“The length of the application is so long in detail… [When people] commit a crime [or] a felony they lose their right to vote forever until the governor actually pardons them and restores their rights.” She also compared the voting rights in Virginia to that of other states, saying “…in Maine and Vermont, [prisoners] vote while they’re locked up!”


Rev. Jackson reached out to the Hampton Chapter of NAACP,who then spoke to the Hampton University Youth and College Division of the NAACP to organize the appearance, according to Hampton’s Miss NAACP, Maya Young. Young, who is a senior elementary education major from South Carolina enjoyed Rev. Jackson’s message about how people fought for the right to vote.

“Like [Rev. Jackson] said, so many fought for us to have that right. So many of us today are really pushing that right without a thought. It [seems to be] no big deal to us, but they literally fought for this right.”