Playing well with others

When you ask people why they decided to go to college, obviously a big reason is to obtain a degree in one academic discipline or another in order to launch a career and make $1 billion or create world peace. But for many people college is also a next step in personal development. It involves moving away from your home country or hometown, meeting new people and forming new relationships—personal, professional and romantic.

This can be a lot of fun, but like anything else in life, relationships can go wrong, something that can and does happen here at Case Western Reserve University. While the definition of a healthy relationship can vary from person to person, there are some basic guidelines

The key thing to remember is that any such relationship that involves violence is not a healthy one. Don’t get wrapped up in legal definitions of what is or isn’t a crime, just remember that if someone hits you it is illegal and you need to seek some help—leave legal classifications to us. While this may seem self-evident to many, there have been cases at this university where advising students that they may have been a victim of domestic or relationship violence brings blank stares or “I never thought of it like that.”

And while physical violence in a relationship is a clear crossing of the red line, verbal or other psychological abuse may or may not be illegal depending on circumstances. Regardless, it is definitely not a sign of a healthy relationship. If you are involved in such a relationship, or know someone who is, you need to tell someone—police, Resident Assistant, coach or professor—who can get the help that is needed.

In today’s world things can spin out of control very quickly on social media or via text messaging. And in my experience, once a relationship gets to a certain point the issues it brings may not just disappear by themselves, however much we might wish it so. There is no shame in asking for outside help if you feel you need it.

Let’s look out for each other.

On the Beat is a weekly safety column written by Sergeant Jeffrey Daberko of CWRU Police Department. He welcome questions, suggestions and gripes/groans/moans/complaints about campus life at