These tragedies can be prevented
if everyone walks home with their
group and has a plan before going
Devising plans before going
anywhere, whether it is a trip to the
bars or just a study group, can only
be useful if everyone vows to follow
“Watch out for your friends and
do not be by yourself,” said Lauri
Rockman, Director of the Portage
County Coalition for Alcohol and
Drug Abuse Prevention. “Think about
it, especially in winter. It could be life
Taking care of others while you’re
trying to have fun may not be the
most exciting part of the night, but it
can help save lives.
Other opportunities offered to
students are the late night City Bus
system and the Campus Cab.
With many ad campaigns against drinking in all forms, walking alone
has not been touched on much.
“No one really gets it until
something happens to them,” Joan
Being aware of the dangers can
help people from learning the hard
“We don’t want to see anymore
tragedies when this can be so easily
prevented,” Rockman said.
Since partnering with the Duffeys,
the coalition has been working hard
to get the word out.
Radio ads have been played
throughout all of Portage and Dane
County, including the UWSP campus
Besides advertisements on the
airwaves, posters and billboards are
located all around Stevens Point.
While this program was created to
make everyone aware of the dangers
of walking alone, no one should be
blamed for these tragedies.
“We do not blame Eric’s death
on his friends or even on him, it can happen to anyone,” Joan said. “Those
kids with Eric that night are living in
guilt, this feeling should not be guilt.
I know Eric would not want them to
feel that, that feeling is something I
want to stop from happening.”
UWSP was a home for Eric Duffey
and where he had some of the best
memories of his life.
“Being at UWSP was all he
wanted,” Joan said, “It’s like that
quote from Steel Magnolias, ‘I would
rather have 30 minutes of wonderful
than a lifetime of nothing special’.”
The death of Eric Duffey was one
that can be an example for others to
help them see the dangers of walking
alone in the dark.
“If you don’t think it can happen
to you, it can,” Rockman said.