Students at UW-Stevens Point are turning a tragedy into a way to help each other. In March 2012, UWSP student Eric Duffey was found dead in the Wisconsin River. Duffey has disappeared after leaving a bar. Now his family and classmates want to make sure no other student ever walks home alone.
If you take a walk through the campus, you will probably see students wearing a blue bracelet. It reminds students to never walk alone. That's a pledge thousands have made in memory of their classmate, Eric Duffey.
UWSP student Jenna Furger asked everyone she saw in the student center the same question.
"Hey guys, have you pledged to bring a buddy yet?" asked Furger. "We're encouraging students not to walk alone on campus," said Furger.
It's part of a campaign she is passionate about.
"It's such a simple thing, if you see someone leaving you can be like 'Oh do you want me to call you a cab?' or 'What way are you going? We'll walk with you," said Furger.
She handed out the bracelets as a reminder.
"We're giving away bracelets that have Courtesy Cab's phone number on the back so no matter where you go, you'll always have it," said Furger.
When her classmates signed the Bring a Buddy poster, they were making a pledge.
"What they're saying is they're going to take care of their own safety but also look out for their friends," said Furger.
Furger hopes this campaign will help everyone remember Duffey for starting a safety movement on campus.
"With Eric's death being such a tragic event on campus, this has been just a really positive light and kind of a big boost in the campus in helping each other out," said Furger.
The bracelets are part one of a two-week campaign. Duffey's mother will talk about this campaign at the UWSP DUC Theater at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The third stage of the campaign takes place this weekend in Stevens Point bars. Bring a Buddy information will be printed on napkins and coasters at popular hangouts.