As you anxiously order an “angel shot on the rocks,” a flag shoots off in a potential assaulter’s head. They make a break for the exit and quickly become lost amongst other unassuming bar-goers. With hardly a sweat broken, they live to scheme again.
This past week, an angel shot initiative was passed in the Associated Student Body’s senate session. The legislation plans to spread awareness of codes that could help students in danger. The different codes can signify the need for a watchful escort, a ride home or even a call for emergency services.
This indeed makes the Square, and by association, the university, a safer place. Admittedly, I haven’t been put in a situation to need an angel shot, but too many others have.
With this initiative, the secret verbiage becomes more familiar and common. Bartenders aren’t the only ones you can tell you need an angel shot — you could tell a mutual friend and be understood quickly. You could whisper the words of distress to another bar attendee in which you have unfounded faith to help you out. You could directly tell the security in the bar, and likely have the situation dealt with.
That familiarity could be a major disadvantage, though. When under-the-table things like this become well known, they are served on a silver platter for the wrong individuals to take advantage of. Assuredly, somebody will be let off the hook due to their knowledge of this language.
It’s a wicked dilemma, truthfully.
Are we not supposed to create and share resources like this? I think this certainly was considered during senate proceedings, but the decision was made that more people would be helped than hurt. More crimes would be prevented rather than investigated afterward. Shady behavior in a bar would have a shiny-new deterrent.
Concern rises for the coming years when the angel shot codes become too well known. A call for help might turn into a bullseye.
Will angel shot codes be changed periodically? They probably should be to prevent the aforementioned hypotheticals. But then we have to ask ourselves, will these drunk college students remember what weird drink order that poster in their dorm hall told them to say when they’re in trouble? There lies the argument for lasting simplicity and uniformity.
Above all, this is a respectable move by ASB to increase awareness and safety. Preventative behavioral methods have been preached so people can protect themselves, but often it’s too late for all that. Students may learn conduct expectations at orientation, and they may be raised to be decent human beings. Still, you clearly can’t expect every member of the community to be innocent in their intentions.
Justice Rose is the opinion editor. He is a sophomore journalism major from Madison, Miss.