Rachel Lyons, Collegian columnist

Usually, I try to write articles that I find enjoyable to write.

I typically find something that I find to be relevant to something I find interesting that week. This week is different for an important reason. Although I enjoy writing enjoyable pieces, this week, I need to use my voice to speak up and prevent something horrible from happening to someone else.

This fall, I participated as an officer in the dormant Hutchinson Community College Business Club. Our officer team was only three members, but considering that a total of five to seven members were active in the club, this is a good majority. Although I felt our officer team to be a strong team, I was uncomfortable around one of them. I voiced my concerns to our then sponsor, who agreed to talk to the student, and everything seemed to be better.

Everything was going well besides some problems with the club throughout the semester, and then January came. Specifically, the week of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Since I had a four-day weekend from work, I was able to leave Friday after my 11:30 a.m. class and return Monday night.

Since I had agreed to sell a textbook to this student, we decided to meet up with and make the exchange.

To make a long story short, Wednesday this student was at my dorm again after my use of a half-truth to prevent them from coming over the night before. A friend of mine happened to come down, wanting to use the study room that we were in, and while waiting on her friends, discovered that they had been arrested before.

The good news was that my friend ended up being able to get me away from this student by having a friend of mine from accounting last semester, ‘need my calculator’.

By the publication of this column, it will have been over a week since I have seen this student. From outside sources, I hear that they have dropped out of HutchCC and left without a good portion of belongings.

In all honesty, I’m glad that I don’t have to see them, but I do fear that they will return to Hutch and try to contact me, which they will be unable to do because they are now blocked. I have also slowly realized that their actions and words made little sense.

I hope that from sharing my experience, you learn that not everyone is who they seem.

Even if you think you know someone the best you possibly could, there is still a chance that they aren’t. If you suspect that you could be in danger, please get help from someone you trust. Go to a professor, your advisor, or your Resident Assistant (if you live in HutchCC housing), find someone whom you trust on campus and tell them. If you don’t speak up, the risk of something worse happening is higher than just speaking out. Surround yourself with people you trust, and they will go the distance should something happen, or be happening, to you.

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