Students walking campus to identify unsafe areas

Cassie Buchman, Administration Editor

Students who feel unsafe can mark areas they find dangerous at the Safety Walk 6:45 p.m. Monday at Old Main.

Safety walks such as the one on Monday are the reason why the blue emergency lights around campus were implemented.

Students, nine staff members including Dan Nadler, the vice president for student affairs, will be walking around the campus during the evening and seeing which areas seem unsafe.

The staff members and students will be breaking off into groups to cover the area and write notes to see what needs to be worked on.

The students who were part of the walk will let Nadler know what they think needs to be worked on and he will decide whether or not to invest money in some of the projects.

Ariannah Lambert, the university enhancement chair for student senate, had an “outreach table” with a map the week before the walk and had students mark down which areas they felt were dangerous or needed work, even places where people wanted to add flowers.

Students used blue marker to mark if they wanted emergency lights added, black markers were for normal lighting and green was for if students wanted to add flowers or if there was something they felt looked “ugly.”

Red marker was for what Lambert called “oddball” requests.

“There was a skateboarder and I said ‘hey’ and I ran up to him, and he said the sidewalks were really rough,” Lambert said.

She said while she was not sure they could do things about all the items students brought up such as the sidewalks, it was still good to know people wanted something done about it.

“It’s good to know what people don’t like and what they do like,” Lambert said “I have a map of all the places where students felt unsafe that I was able to talk to.”

One of these places was by the observatory and campus pond, as well as students wanting more lighting around parking lots.

“I think the observatory, based on what people have said, would be a great place to have lights,” Lambert said.

Lambert said Fourth Street was also a concern for some students, especially in light of some robberies near campus.

“I’ve had probably at least 30 people tell me that they want more lighting near these streets, and that’s where most of the robberies were happening,” Lambert said. “I’m not shocked to see that. I think (lights) would make them feel safer.”

She said she hoped they could do something about the lights.

Lambert said they were making these areas to see if more lighting was needed there or more of the blue emergency lights needed to be added and other maintenance projects such as those.

“Like if there is a sidewalk that has a crack on it that is a dangerous issue for someone riding a skateboard or something like that where they can twist their ankle,” Lambert said. “Or if there is any spots that have too tall of grass where you can’t see people around who can come and get you.”

Lambert said it was all to make students feel safer walking at night on campus.

“We might not be able to do the concrete, we might not be able to get lighting on every single corner, but things like (the safety walk) and little comments here or there could definitely be done,” Lambert said.

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]