The first Lattes with LPD event, hosted in conjunction with Florida Southern College’s Just Ask initiative, was held on Sept. 25 in the Hollis Room.
Lattes with LPD is a monthly meeting with officers from the Lakeland Police Department, where police officers have the opportunity to educate students on issues that they may be facing on and off campus. The meeting allows FSC students and faculty to ask questions and gain information about these topics.
This first meeting of Lattes with LPD focused on drug, tobacco and alcohol awareness, in which Officer Gwendolyn Stanislowski of the Lakeland Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit discussed these topics and warned students of the dangers of using these substances.
“Some college students use drugs and alcohol as a result of peer pressure, curiosity, heavy course loads and high levels of stress,” Stanislowski said. “Students are exploring new aspects of their personal and professional lives, and it’s not uncommon for them to rely on these substances to help them deal with these changes.”
Stanislowski strongly warns against using drugs, alcohol or tobacco in any situation and hopes students realize the physical, psychological and financial impacts of using these substances, as well as the legal consequences of these actions. She also reminded students that if they are ever in a situation where they are unable to drive and need immediate help getting to a safer place, Florida Southern will provide a free taxi ride through Checker Cab for students up to two times in one semester.
Florida Southern College’s Just Ask initiative will be partnering with the Lakeland Police Department throughout the rest of the year for events such as this one. The Assistant Director of Accountability, Education, and Compliance Maggie Merryday was in attendance to help answer any questions that students had and to take part in the discussion.
“We want our students to be able to make informed and educated choices while navigating college life,” Merryday said. “This is why prevention education is so important: By educating our students with knowledge on substances, internet and online dating safety, sexual responsibility and interpersonal violence, it is our goal that FSC students will be able to make informed decisions.”
The next Lattes with LPD event will be held on Oct. 9 at 10:40 a.m. in the Hollis Room and will focus on dating violence. This event will be open to all FSC students, and students who attend will earn a passport credit and receive free hot or iced coffee courtesy of Just Ask. Florida Southern also provides several resources for students who may be struggling to reach out to, including the Counseling Center, Peace River Crisis Center and Chaplain Tim Wright.