The new face of safety

By Natalie Sit

The new University of Calgary Safewalk Coordinator Andy Rondeau is committed to two things: Safewalk and swigging rye and Coke at the Fox and Firkin downtown.

"The Fox [and Firkin] is great because we know everyone there and we don’t have to pay for anything. Feel free to advertise that and we’ll pay even less," said the third-year Canadian history student with a grin.

Although Rondeau has been a Safewalk volunteer for only a year, outgoing Safewalk Coordinator Amie Wright has nothing but praise for Rondeau.

"He’s enthusiastic and approachable and fun to be around," said Wright. "He takes shifts at the last minute and he’s committed. He makes me smile. In work-related issues, he sees the good side of things but is aware of the situation."

Rondeau’s Safewalk career started out as a volunteer enterprise intended to earn a better position in residence, but he has an eye on the future.

"I think [Safewalk Coordinator] is a really good job to have," said Rondeau. "I plan to go to law school one day, so this is the kind of the thing that may be beneficial. I also think the program is a really good idea and I really believe in it."

Like any new leader, Rondeau has some ideas about increasing Safewalk use and promoting awareness of the program through advertising.

"I’d like to rearrange some shifts. [Safewalk] shifts start at 5 p.m. and generally we don’t get a whole lot of walks until it’s dark. We might change that around."

Rondeau also has plans for Safewalk volunteers.

"I’m going to try to make things a little more laid back this year," said Rondeau. "Amie [Wright] did a good job last year but I think sometimes people might have thought it was a more serious volunteer commitment than it is. Not that it isn’t serious. I’m just trying to make it a little more easygoing."

Rondeau also praised ideas that Wright implemented, such as Safewalk team leaders.

"Amie started team leaders, which were two individuals responsible for four groups. They would meet every couple weeks with the group to see if anyone had problems with Amie or other Safewalkers," said Rondeau. "It’s just a place to talk about what’s going and get filled in."

Even though Rondeau has had "a boring Safewalk life," he really enjoys his work.

"Safewalk is a way to keep campus safe through volunteer work. It’s a great way to meet people and have fun."