Members of the student senate and the student body walked along side administrators in the annual University Safety walk that took place at in front of Old Main Monday evening.
Students and administrators were separated into groups and spread out across campus. They were instructed to cover certain parts of the campus that were deemed in need of a safety check.
Those areas included: Greek Court, University Apartments, The Martin Luther King Jr. University Union and the residence halls scattered across campus.
Ariannah Lambert, the university enhancement chair, coordinated the walk with Daniel Nadler the vice president of student affairs.
Lambert planned the safety walk with Nadler on behalf of the student university enhancement committee.
Lambert provided a map of the campus for those who attended and a pen in order to label what parts of campus they felt were in need of a safety check as well as a flashlight to guide the way.
Nadler instructed the groups to look for burned out lighting, potholes in the sidewalks, uneven sidewalks, broken windows or overgrown shrub.
Adam Due, the chief of University Police department, said he does not feel that anywhere on campus is unsafe.
Due and Director of Tim Zimmer, the facilities planning and management, said that compared to what it used to be, the university, especially along Fourth Street, is well lit and protected.
“It’s like daylight along Fourth Street,” Due said.
They also stressed the other factors that have to do with safety including the time of year, time of day and what the students are doing.
That includes trimming the trees and shrubs so students can see people coming and encouraging students to be cautious on campus, said Due.
Due said that if there’s an opportunity for anything unsafe to happen then people should not travel alone and not travel at night.
“Officers check everywhere, but you’re still better off staying off a dark path and staying on a light path,” said Due.
The university also tries to incorporate sustainability efforts as well as safety when lighting the campus by using more LED lights, said Zimmer.
Zimmer also said that fenced off areas in need of safety repairs are under the Capital Development Board Project.
The project is aimed at fixing particular areas on campus such as deteriorating sidewalks and stairs.
However, that project has been halted as of July because of the lack of a state budget.
There are some places, however, that are dark for a reason because students shouldn’t be there said Nadler.
“These walks are helpful,” Zimmer said, “We get used to things so it takes a fresh pair of eyes to see things that we take for granted.”
Mark Hudson the director of university housing and dining services, said the walks are a long-standing tradition and it’s a good education process that raises the level of comfort on campus.
Haley Jennings, a freshman accounting major, said the walk helps by bringing the staff together to find a problem and by helping the students realize the campus is also their responsibility.
Jennings said that there should be awareness by the student body and even though the campus is safe it could be safer.
“I believe that there should be a meeting held on self-defense or something of that sort to help students who may not know what to do when someone tries to attack them or abuse them,” Jennings said, “But if they had that knowledge they may feel even safer.”
Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]