University Enhancement committee of the Student Senate to host Safety Walk

Chrissy Miller, Administrative Reporter

In an effort to make the university safer by identifying problem areas on campus, the University Enhancement committee of the Student Senate will host a Safety Walk from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday.

Students, faculty and staff can all participate in the walk.

Participants will meet in the Bridge Lounge of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. After the walk, there will be a short discussion about safety issues that were discovered.

Tarvea Durant, chair of the University Enhancement committee, said helped plan this student-led walk to show students their well-being is a priority. Durant said he expects some University Police officers to participate in the walk.

“It’s important that everyone feels safe,” Durant said.  “We’re all here and this is our home away from home.”

After going through the responses to a survey he sent out through panthermail about student safety concerns, Durant said he found a common theme among many of them.

“So far I’m getting a lot of lighting responses. Lighting along Fourth Street, lighting in Greek Court, just a lot of lighting responses,” Durant said. “We need more light in some areas.”

Student senate member Damien Sampson said after meeting in the Bridge Lounge, participants will be organized into three groups.

“We’re going to divide the campus into three parts,” Durant said. “Two of the groups will be using the university’s golf carts. This will give the groups more of a chance to focus on safety problems in their areas.”

Sampson said even with the financial issues Eastern is facing, he is pleased that the Safety Walks continue to happen.

“It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” Sampson said. “Especially with Eastern’s budget being as tight as it is, it’s nice to see safety is still a priority.”

Student Body President Catie Witt said the student government has helped plan this walk many times in the past.

Many times, concerns are brought up that may have gone unnoticed before because not everyone walks around the entire campus, Witt said.

“This way we can literally walk all around Greek Court, North Quad and South Quad,” Witt said. “We see areas students might be walking that we’ve never walked before and just try to attack that problem head-on.”

Witt said because of her job as a Senior Staff Assistant in Greek Court, she has to walk alone at night sometimes from building to building, which can be frightening because of a lack of lighting.

“The lighting we do have is nice, but it is a little bit darker than the rest of campus,” Witt said. “I know the North Quad can get pretty dark too.”

Witt said fixing safety concerns identified during this walk will help current and future students feel safe.

“I think if there are any serious problems, making sure we address those is important so potential students that are coming to visit campus do feel safe and can see themselves coming here,” she said.

Chrissy Miller can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]