Safety Walk proves useful, reveals needed improvement

Chrissy Miller, Administration Reporter

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Lighting issues, crumbling sidewalks and overgrown bushes were the main safety concerns participants in the Safety Walk discovered last night.

Participants broke up into three groups, each focusing on different areas of the university.

Lynette Drake, interim vice president for student affairs, said the groups did what they were supposed to and looked for shadowy places.

“There were a couple curbed areas that were crumbling that we caught,” Drake said. “There were several areas on campus where we thought that we didn’t necessarily need additional pole lighting, but maybe some lights on buildings facing in the directions of the areas that were dark (would be beneficial.)”

Drake said Eastern has had major safety improvements since she attended as a student.

“It seems like the campus is very well-lit compared to how it used to be,” Drake said. “Lighting on campus has seen a huge improvement since the Safety Walks started.”

University Police Sergeant Ryan Risinger said in Greek Court and University Court there were some lights out and some bushes that needed to be trimmed down, where people could hide and conceal themselves.

“Grounds is going to take care of (that) and trim some of the bushes back,” Risinger said.

Risinger said it is good to get different members of the university and see what their point of view is on the area.

“There are some dark areas on campus and some lights out that need to be addressed,” Risinger said.

Tarvea Durant, chair of the Student Senate’s university enhancement committee, said he was pleased with Student Senate, staff and the University Police Department’s involvement in the walk. When the walk started, it was still light out so Durant said groups focused on sidewalk issues.

Durant said he has decided to leave documentation of notes from his Safety Walk to help guide future student senators as they arrange more Safety Walks in the future.

“From the previous Safety Walks I have no type of data,” Durant said. “So, I’m going to make sure this stays on file and it’s easy to get to.”

Tim Zimmer, director of Facilities, Planning and Management, said student input is one of the most important parts of the Safety Walk.

“We see things every day and we become accustomed to looking at them the same way every day. So, it brings a fresh set of eyes,” Zimmer said. “It’s a good opportunity to educate the students about different thing on campus but also to see things from their perspective.”

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