First ‘Student of the Month’ titles awareded to first-years

On Nov. 21, while taking down the set of ‘Macbeth,’ first-years Katie Yow and Maria Walsh-Cole earned the title of Public Safety Students of the Month for December and January for extinguishing a trashcan fire.
The fire was probably started by a cigarette. Walsh-Cole saw the fire and called for help. Fellow cast members and crew called for Yow. First-year Jordan Spoon, a cast member who was at the strike said, “When we had the candle scene (in Macbeth), Katie always sat backstage with the fire extinguisher, so we figured she would know how to use it.”
Yow used her skills and put out the flame.

Walsh-Cole pointed out that “Brandon Sassnet also deserves recognition” for making sure extra people stayed out of the room and for assisting in putting out the fire.

Both students are modest about being granted the Student of the Month award. Neither feels her actions were worthy of such praise.
However, Tanisha Wilkins, Public Safety Office Assistant, said, “(Extinguishing the fire) is a Public Safety job. For them to do it is commendable.”

John Martin, the Public Safety officer who responded to Walsh-Cole’s call, said, “They did a fantastic job. That could have been a really bad situation.” He pointed out that the trashcan was next to a Coke machine, and if the plastic from the machine had caught on fire, the fire department would have had to come deal with the toxins.

Reginald Hayes, Director of Public Safety, also praised the students. “I don’t know if we have that many students that would be that responsive,” he said. “It was just courageous of them. They didn’t have to do that.”

As Students of the Month, Walsh-Cole and Yow have their picture displayed in the Public Safety window in Bauman. They also received parking passes for the month to park in the commuter parking lot, which is closer to their dorm. Public safety will treat Walsh-Cole and Yow to a free off-campus dinner as well.

Yow said, “I think it is very nice that Public Safety went out of their way to show their appreciation.”

Walsh-Cole said that she is “overwhelmed” by all of the attention the event has brought and is grateful for the recognition from Public Safety.
Hayes started the Public Safety Student of the Month award this month especially for Walsh-Cole and Yow as a way of recognizing students for their achievements. “We wanted the community to know what they did,” he said.

Wilkins said the honor will continue to be given out in future months, but it won’t necessarily just be for “heroic acts.” She explained it may be given to students who simply stand out for a given month, for not having any tickets or even for talking to Public Safety and having a positive attitude.

Hayes said all community members are welcome to attend Public Safety open forums on Wednesdays from 3-4 p.m. in Bauman B14 if they have questions regarding the Student of the Month award or any other concern.